ALIAT was the first NGO that developed harm reduction programs in Romania, especially needle exchange programs in Bucharest followed by another organization ARAS who also started promoting needle exchange services. These services grew extensively and between the years 2000 and 2010, there were many NGO’s that also included needle exchange programs in their out-reach programs. However, since the Global Found reduced the budget for Romania, funding of these harm reduction services disappeared with today, the only NGO’s still carrying out these services being Carusel and ARAS.
Meanwhile, the number of injecting drug users is growing every year as shown in the National Anti-drug Agency figures which estimates the numbers of injecting drug users in 2011 being 19,265, up from 16,867 in 2009. The most commonly injected substances in Bucharest are currently heroin and “legal highs” (New Psychoactive Substances).
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