13 / 02 / 2020
Support Line for RMT Patients

At a working meeting in Kiev, specialists discussed the results of pilot project of telephone Automated Support Line (ASL) for patients of replacement and maintenance therapy (RMT) programs.

The Support Line for drug dependent persons was established in Ukraine, taking into account the successful experience of introducing similar technology by American colleagues. The adaptation of the content of the American line, the organization of its functioning and the effectiveness research were carried out by UIPHP specialists together with partners in the framework of the project "Improving quality of medication assisted treatment in Ukraine".

The thematic menu of the Line contains sections on methadone/buprenorphine program services, ways to control drug withdrawal symptoms and craving for the drug, offers to drug dependent persons exercises to manage their physical and emotional state, as well as the success stories of other RMT patients.

Last fall, 180 RMT patients were asked to call the Support Line. Using step-by-step instructions, the study participants listened to some thematic audio sessions and left feedback on whether or not any of the information was useful to them.

The vast majority of participants rated using ASL as relevant and useful: 75.4% said that the Support Line can help RMT patients feel psychologically better, 78.5% are ready to recommend this technology to their friends and acquaintances who take RMT, nearly half (48, 5%) believe that the Support Line can help RMT patients to give up street drugs.

As a result of the meeting, it is planned to add-on the list of Automated Support Line topics and technically integrate it with the National Hotline on Drug Addiction and RMT so that callers can be redirected from one service to another if needed.

Piloting of Automated Patient Support Line for Patients of RMT programs: Results and Implementation Opportunities (Presentation, UA)

RMT Patients Support Line: 0800-605-937 (toll free from any number)