On September 7, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia detained two citizens of Ukraine on the attempt to purchase, store and sell a large quantity of buprenorphine (known under brand name Subutex) – an opioid often used to treat opioid dependency in substitute therapy. Despite being used in substitute therapy under Health Ministry’s protocol, buprenorphine is classified as a restricted narcotic substance if handled without special supervision.
According to the Interior Ministry, a group of organized dealers had planned to sell the pills via the “dead drop” method, when the substance is dropped off at an agreed location, without the personal presence of the sellers. Police seized about 1000 pills of Subutex that were thus placed. Another proscribed substance, methadone, was also seized from the detainees’ apartments.
The two, if convicted, face 8 to 20 years, or the life sentence, depending on the legal qualification of their offense.