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About Irina Teplinskaya

Irina Teplinskaya is community relations coordinator at the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice, Moscow,  and a member of the Steering Committee of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network.  She lives in Kaliningrad and is HIV positive 

Articles by Irina Teplinskaya

This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

A drug addict in free fall: another reckoning

For many years Irina Teplinskaya has been campaigning for replacement therapy to be available to drug addicts in Russia, but it remains banned by the law. On 18 August Irina returned to Russia from a course of rehabilitation in Ukraine. At the border she was searched and a tablet ‘found’ in her bag. Now she faces imprisonment – not for the first time. We publish here the impassioned statement she has issued.

Human rights for Russian drug addicts: I will not be silenced!

Arguments over the benefits of opiate substitution therapy versus abstinence as the most successful way of dealing with drug addiction are not confined to one country. But in Russia the attitudes of both professionals and society to addiction are harsh and uncompromising, as well as an infringement of their human rights, says Irina Teplinskaya.

Free fall: a Russian drug addict crashes – again!

ODR recently published the story of an intelligent, educated Russian woman who is HIV+ and drug dependent. This was followed by her cry from the heart, asking where the medication is that will help her and millions of others in Russia. Her recent success in finding her voice, writing and being active in the field led, sadly, to another crash. Even so, Irina Teplinskaya was able to write to her friends from 'not the edge of the abyss, but deep in it…'

HIV positive in Russia: where is our medication?

openDemocracy Russia recently published the harrowing tale of a Russian drug-dependent woman Irina Teplinskaya, and her campaign to make medication available to HIV positive people. Here she describes the protest actions organised in support of the campaign.

A life in free fall: a Russian drug addict's story (2)

In Russia drug addicts are seen as scum: the sooner they die, the better. In this second part of her story Irina tells of her life after prison. What will she make of it? What, if any, support will she get from friends, relations or state bodies?

A life in free fall: a Russian drug addict's story (1)

Irina Teplinskaya was born with every advantage. But when she started taking drugs, there was no effective help to be had. She tells the harrowing story of her life as an addict: driven to crime, in and out of prison camps and hospitals, but fighting all the way for her right to treatment.

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