Lithuania

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Drug Policy
  • The Lithuanian National Programme on Drug Control and Prevention of Drug Addiction 2010-16 was endorsed by parliament in 2010.
  • The overarching goal of the programme is to reduce the supply of, and demand for, illicit drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as and their precursors, and to combat drug dependence by strengthening individual and public education, health and safety.
  • The national programme has several priorities, particularly reducing demand among children and young people. Others include: drug supply reduction; drug use monitoring; the provision of information; and coordination and international cooperation.
  • Since 2015, the strategy has been implemented as part of the Interinstitutional Action Plan for Prevention of Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol 2015-17.
Treatment Services
  • The drug treatment-related objectives emphasise enhancing the quality and accessibility of drug dependence treatment services.
  • the Law on Narcological Care provides a regulatory framework for the provision of treatment to people who use licit and illicit substances.
  • The drug treatment services are funded through the national budget, national health insurance and municipal budgets.
  • Drug treatment is provided free of charge to patients.
  • Drug treatment is provided mostly by public and private agencies.
  • Outpatient drug treatment is provided by specialised drug treatment centres and through specially licenced private medical institutions.
  • Five regional public specialised centres for addictive disorders located across the country provide outpatient and inpatient services. These centres offer treatment programmes that last from one to three months and include group psychotherapy, acupuncture and counselling. They can also provide opioid substitution treatment (OST).
  • Inpatient treatment is delivered by hospital-based residential drug treatment units and therapeutic communities.
  • Detoxification services are available through toxicological units in general hospitals or in private toxicology centres.
  • OST with methadone has been provided since 1996.
  • Buprenorphine-based medication has been available since late 2002.
  • OST can be prescribed by the specialised centres for addictive disorders and by psychiatrists working in the mental health centres.
Prevention Services
  • The 2011 Resolution of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania on a targeted policy of prevention and control of drugs, tobacco and alcohol consumption prioritised the development of values, and the building of skills, through integrated and evidence-based prevention programmes, so that children and young people opt for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Prevention interventions encompass a wide range of complementary approaches. Environmental and universal strategies target entire populations, while selective prevention targets vulnerable groups that may be at greater risk of developing drug use problems. Indicated prevention, on the other hand, focuses on at-risk individuals.
  • Through the implementation of policies that limit access to licit substances, environmental prevention activities look to ensure that there are safe living and school environments for under-age young people. They also involve the organisation of safe neighbourhood groups that support community policing actions.
  • Universal prevention mostly takes place in schools.
  • Adopted in 2012, framework programmes for human security and health education also attempt to improve the capacity of pupils to make sound decisions and to develop the abilities, skills and principles required to lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • Selective prevention activities have mainly targeted recreational settings, such as nightclubs, bars and cafes. They also target children from at-risk families via social day centres and open youth centres and spaces.
  • The police commonly initiate prevention activities in recreational settings.
  • Nightclubs also tend to apply measures, such as entrance safety checks. These limit the entry of under-aged young people and maintain a safe environment.
  • Mass media campaigns and information provision (leaflets, etc.) still play a significant role in prevention activities.
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