Federal Minsiter for Narcotics Control Ijaz Ahmad Shah & SAPM on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan presided the meeting.

Pilot projects to be launched for an initial period of 12 months. Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Brig (R) Ijaz Ahmad Shah and SAPM on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan chaired the meeting for opioid substitution therapy.

Opioid substitution therapy (OST) for injecting drug users (IDUs) reduces HIV risk behaviours and harms associated with injecting (such as abscesses, septicaemia and endocarditis), overdose and participation in criminal activity, thereby improving the quality of life and health of injecting drug users (IDUs).

A controlled pilot project with designated qualified personnel having permission to prescribe the relevant medication and in specified hospitals. The consumption will be closely monitored to determine the results. A total of 7 centers to be designated on initial basis that’ll include one in every province and one each in Islamabad, AJK and GB respectively. The results will be determined after 12 months and upon satisfactory performance, number of centers will be expanded.

“This step will not only help us control the spread of drugs but also in dealing with transmission of deadly diseases like HIV AIDS” said Ijaz Shah.

SAPM Health, Dr. Faisal Sultan briefed the participants on technical details of the therapy and its benefits.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Naroctics Control Dr. Syed Kaleem Imam, Secretary NH&RC Amir Ashraf Khawaja, representative of Anti Narcotics Force and senior officials of Ministry of Narcotics Control.