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Russia has had a dramatic increase in 2 things: heroin addiction and HIV. The two are obviously linked because 66% of the new HIV cases in 2006 were acquired because of intravenous, or IV, drug use. There has been a lot of public support to get these addicted Russians into drug rehab but the controversy only starts here.

A common practice in the treatment of those with heroin addiction is to administer methadone, which is a synthetic form of opium. Methadone treatment is taboo in Russia because many feel that it is simply replacing one addiction with another. In fact, even bringing up the topic can provoke serious legal sanctions.

Posting studies that show the effects, both positive and negative, of methadone treatment are illegal also. In fact, charges are often brought up against doctors that post these findings on their websites. Because methadone treatment is difficult to get in Russia, many find that the detox is ineffective and once they leave the drug rehab program, they use again.

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