Presenting author: Chaiya boontem
Presenting author biography:
Chaiya Boontem has worked with PWID and Harm Reduction for 9 years. He joined Thai Drug Users' Network for 3 years. He thinks PWID and community should monitor a methadone service for PWID.
Community Led Monitoring: Building Community Voices Through Community Led Data
In Thailand harm reduction services for People who Inject Drugs (PWID) is dependent on civil society organizations in reaching users, providing NSP, condoms and referral for HIV/TB, STI, HCV, OST testing and treatment if needed. The Thai Drug Users' Network (TDN), a network/community organization aiming to promote the wellbeing of people who use drugs. TDN has the greatest coverage operating in 6 provinces.
While the government health system provides methadone maintenance services, in many provinces PWID complain about quality of services. Anecdotal complaints have been ineffective in calling for improved services. TDN has decided to use survey techniques to produce data to support its advocacy for service improvement.
458 samples of PWID who were receiving methadone services from the TDN database. Close-ended and open-ended questions were used, and data. Field assistant outreach worker in each province collected data. Data included 4 main areas: 1. personal data. 2. history of drug use 3. history of methadone service access 4. service improvement suggestions. The services providers were 8 government facilities in 6 provinces.
The data showed that the standards of methadone service at government facilities differ from place to place and do not meet the needs of our fellow people who inject drugs. 86% of the service recipients were male, and 71.6% continued to use other drugs in combination with methadone. 97% of fellow members suggested improvements to the take-home methadone dispensing service, with 47% wishing they would receive methadone once a month and 60% wishing flexibility in service hours to suit their lifestyle.
The survey results and the suggestions were proposed to the Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Committee and a meeting was held to establish methadone-friendly service standards at the national level to truly improve the quality of life of fellow people who inject drugs.