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Health and social welfare guidance for intravenous drug users

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

- Health and social welfare guidance related to the risk use of drugs

- Changing used injection devices to new ones

- HIV testing

- Pregnancy tests

- Hepatitis testing

- Hepatitis A and B vaccinations

- Influenza vaccinations

- Vasculitis and treatment of wounds

- Medical services

Do the following

To whom and on what terms

The service is only for citizens of Helsinki.

Background information

If the substance abuser is not able to stop the use of intoxicants on their own, they may seek the short-term 24-hour treatment for detoxification. Sobering-up treatment provides a safe place for coping with the effects of alcohol, drugs, medicinal substances or other intoxicants. Treatment periods are usually short: a few hours, overnight or no more than 24 hours. The patient will also receive advice on how to access further treatment. The withdrawal care unit (withdrawal centre) may be located as part of a public health service emergency unit or in connection with the detoxification unit or the police detoxication station.

If the use of intoxicants cannot be given up with the help of outpatient care, the person may seek 24-hour detoxification treatment in a health and social services centre or as outpatient services for substance abusers. The aim of detoxification treatment is to safely break the cycle of substance abuse and to motivate the patient for the necessary further treatment. The duration of detoxification treatment is usually a few days.

Withdrawal treatment is long-term treatment, which includes not only treatment of withdrawal symptoms but also support for life management, mental health and solving any other problems caused by substance abuse. The withdrawal treatment may last two to four weeks.

If a person with substance abuse problems does not wish to participate in treatment, they may only be committed to involuntary treatment if there is an immediate risk to their life or health.

The service is provided by

City of Helsinki

Responsible for the service

The Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Division, City of Helsinki
Text edited by: The Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Division, City of Helsinki
Updated: 3/6/2023