In Belarus possession of illicit drugs could be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.[1] Punishment varies from a six-month to a 15-year prison sentence with or without confiscation of property. If a crime was committed by a person while intoxicated (drug-impaired) the punishment will be more severe. If a crime was committed by a drug addict the courts may sentence him/her to imprisonment with mandatory treatment while in prison.[2] According to the Prison Studies there are 32 500[3] inmates in Belarus prisons. No official data is available on the number of prisoners for drug-law offences, but according to national partners in 2017 1910 people were sentenced for the possession without intent to sell. In April 2018 there were 1808 HIV positive inmates, HIV prevalence in prison is approximately 5,6%. As for the drug use responses in prison only ART is available, OST and NSP services does not exist. The average amount spent per month for the detention of one inmate in Belarus prisons is 46 Eur[4], 552 Eur/per inmate/per year.

The estimate number of people who inject drugs is 66500[5]. HIV prevalence among PWID is 30,8%[6]. The cost of NSP services is 34 Eur/per person/per year, OST 542 Eur/per person/per year.[7] Unemployment benefit is approximately 21 EUR per day, 252 Eur/per person/per year.[8] So, if the person would need OST, NSP and unemployment benefit, it would cost for the state around 828 Eur/per person/per year. Belarus is the only country in CEECA region where incarceration costs are lower than the cost of health and social services but it could be explained by very poor and degrading conditions in prison settings.[9]


[1] and
[6] Ibid.