European treatment facility survey in Georgia
The main objective of the survey was to create an overview of Georgia's treatment and harm reduction systems. Within the survey, different characteristics were used, to study facilities that provide services to people who use drugs or have substance use disorders. The survey was supported by EMCDDA’s EU4MD project.
The EMCDDA standard data collecting tool, the European Facility Survey Questionnaire (EFSQ), was used to collect information, and descriptive statistics methods were used to analyse the results.
During mapping of the facilities, 55 units were identified in the country, and 84% participated in the survey. Among them are specialised outpatient treatment (69.6%), low-threshold (21.7%), hospital-based residential treatment (6.5%), and non-hospital-based residential treatment units (2.2%). Half (50%) of all the units are located in Tbilisi, the capital city, while the rest are located in different regions. Illicit substances, particularly heroin and other opioids, were identified as a primary substance problem. The most available service within the medical units is opioid substitution therapy (OST) with methadone or buprenorphine. As for medical detoxification management programs, they are only available in Tbilisi. Other services provided by facilities include infection testing and psycho-social assistance. Low-threshold centres are equally distributed by regions and provide various harm reduction services. Infection testing is available in less than half of all units. Services cover all target groups except children. However, 20% of the units indicate a clear need for the mentioned services. In addition, the most facilities have quality assurance mechanisms (e.g. guidelines, etc.).
The main findings of the study relate to the unequal geographical distribution of services that makes access to treatment services a challenge for people who require such services. Lack of psychosocial rehabilitation services was identified. The survey results, as a baseline of ongoing monitoring, might be utilized for informal planning of treatment and rehabilitation service provision.