The project involved establishing a methadone clinic for female drug users in Iran. The Clinic would have a range of services for the women such as primary health care, sexual health care and staff such as a social worker, a psychologist and a lawyer. The clinic would also provide condoms and a needle and syringe program and employment training.
The aims of this project are as follows:
The activities to be carried out in this program of work are as follows:
Over 100 women attended our clinic in the first year. Of the 78 women recruited, 40 were followed up, approximately seven months later. Most women were chronic drug users with a multitude of problems who had received no prior treatment for their drug problem. One in four women reported a history of drug injection. The women had improved outcomes in a number of areas; drug use, social functioning and HIV risk behaviour.
Four presentations have been made at International conferences. Journal articles have been published (1), are in press (2) or in preparation (1). A book is being written on the clinic and a cohort of clients.
A large number of women with no exposure to treatment for drug problems responded well to treatment. There are now five clinics for female drug user s in Tehran.