Latvia

In Latvia the use, acquisition and storage of small amounts of illicit drugs are administrative offences punishable by a warning or a fine of up to EUR 280. Average sentence for drug possession of larger amounts is 3 years.[1]According to the Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics SPACE I there are 3765[2] prisoners in Latvia, 1104 of them for drug-law offences. HIV prevalence in prisons is 7%[3]. As for the drug use responses in prison there are OST, ART exists but is available for prisoners who have started it prior to imprisonment, and NSP doesn’t exist at all.[4] According the SPACE I 2018 survey, the average amount spent per day for the detention of one inmate in Latvian prisons is 36,4 eur/per day, 13286 eur/per year/per inmate.

The estimate number of people who inject drugs is around 6200[5]. HIV prevalence among PWID is 26%[6]. In 2018, the costs[7] of NSP services was 59 eur/per person/per year and OST – 1060,46 eur/per person/per year. Unemployment benefits are paid for up to 9 month, 215 eur/per month, 1451,25 eur/per person/per 9 months)[8]. So, if the person would need OST, NSP and unemployment benefit, it would cost for the state around 2570,71 eur/per person/per year. The health and social services costs are 5 times smaller than incarceration costs.

 

[1] http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/drug-reports/2018/latvia/drug-laws-and-drug-law-offences_en
[2]  http://wp.unil.ch/space/files/2019/04/FinalReportSPACEI2018_190402.pdf
[3] http://aidsinfo.unaids.org
[4] http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/drug-reports/2018/latvia/drug-use-and-responses-prison_en
[5] http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/drug-reports/2018/latvia/drug-use_en
[6] http://aidsinfo.unaids.org
[7] The costs of OST and NSP services were provided by national partners and service providers
[8] http://www.liaa.gov.lv/en/invest-latvia/investor-business-guide/human-resources