logo of the EU drugs agency

You are viewing archived content

Please note that this page is a static copy of a previously published web page and is no longer actively maintained.
Be aware that the information contained here may be out-of-date.
For the most recent information, we recommend visiting the main website of the EMCDDA.

Table HSR-6. Legal framework and practice of substitution treatment initiation

CountryMethadone treatment initiationBuprenorphine treatment initiation
Any medical doctorSpecialised medical doctorsTreatment centresAny medical doctorSpecialised medical doctorsTreatment centresLaw/guidelinesSources
Belgiuma,pa,paaRoyal Decree on substitution treatments of 19 March 20041, 2
Bulgariaa,pDecree No. 24 of 31 October 20003, 4
Czech Republicaaa,pa,pa,pa,pAct No. 379/20051, 2
Denmarkaa,paaPractice of Medicine Act, Section 5f 1, 2
Germanya,pa,paaNarcotic Drugs Prescription Ordinance, Section 5 (2)(6) 1, 2
Irelanda,pa,paaMisuse of Drugs (Supervision of Prescription and Supply of Methadone Regulations) 1998 1, 2
Greecea,pa,pLaw 2955/2002; Ministerial Decree 19546/20031, 2
Spaina,pa,paaRoyal Decree 75/1990, amended by Royal Decree 5/1996 1, 2
Francea,pa,pa,pa,p1, 2
Italyaaa,paaa,pPresidential Decree 309/90, art. 432
Cyprusa aRegulation 160/791, 2
Lithuaniaa,paOrder No 702 of Ministry of Health (Žin., 1998, 13-326)1, 2
Luxembourgaa,paaGrand-ducal Decree on substitution treatment programmes 30 January 2002 1, 2
Hungarya,pMethodological Guidelines of the Professional College of Psychiatry on Methadone Treatment (2002)1, 2
Maltaa,paa,p2, 4
Polanda,p1, 2
Portugala,paaa,pDecree-Law 183/2001, Art 44.1; Decree-Law 15/93, Art. 15.1-3 1
Sloveniaa,pa,p2, 3
Swedena,pa,pMedical Products Agency's Code of Statutes LVFS 2004:15 1, 2
United Kingdoma,pa,pa,pa,pa,pa,pMisuse of Drugs Act 1971, Section 7.3 (a)1, 2
Norwaya,pa,pRegulation 24 April 1998 no. 455, art 2-1 (3) d1, 2


 'a' indicates who is allowed to initiate substitution treatment. 

 'p' indicates who is predominantly involved in initiating substitution treatment. 

 'Specialised medical doctors' refers to specifically trained or accredited office-based medical doctors. 

 In Cyprus, although prescription of substitution substances by specialised medical doctors is permitted (1), substitution treatment is not implemented and methadone is only used to reduce the withdrawal symptoms (3). 

 In Austria, a Decree-Law will be introduced in 2007, which will require medical doctors to have a specific training and accreditation to initiate substitution treatment. 

 See also 'General notes for interpreting data' on the Explanatory notes and help page


 (1) Answers from the legal correspondents of the European Legal Database on Drugs (ELDD) to an EMCDDA survey on the legal framework of substitution treatment (2006). For further results see http://eldd.emcdda.europa.eu/?nnodeid=5036.  

 (2) Structured questionnaire on 'Treatment programmes' (SQ 27), submitted by NFPs in 2005. 

 (3) Standard tables on 'treatment availability' (ST 24), submitted by NFPs in 2004 and 2006. 

 (4) Reitox national reports submitted by NFPs. 

Page last updated: Monday, 12 November 2007