The “SÜTIK” Program: Supporting and Empowering People who use Drugs in Estonia

Initiated in 2018, the SÜTIK program in Estonia enables police officers to refer people who use drugs who have committed a drug-related offense to a support person, as an alternative to punishment. The program provides peer counseling, support and voluntary referrals to health and social programs as needed in order to improve coping skills, health outcomes, opportunities for finding and retaining employment, and the overall quality of life of people who use drugs. The findings to date indicate that women are more likely to stay actively engaged with the program than men. Promising results from the pilot project have led to the program’s expansion.