Dakar, Senegal (CNN)Inside the grounds of Fann hospital in Senegal, men and women form a substantial queue.
West Africa's first state-run rehab clinic lets addicts shoot up
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Those without seats loiter in hallways, and others able to bear the sweltering heat outside play checkers under a canopy of overgrown mango trees.
They are here for the Center for the Integrated Management of Addictions.
A nurse calls them one by one dispensing a small cup of blue liquid. It's a daily routine for methadone treatment and psychological counseling at the center and one that many journey hours to receive.
Known locally as CEPIAD [Centre de prise en charge intégrée des addictions de Dakar], the drop-in clinic is the first in West Africa running a free opioid substitution service. The aim is to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS among addicts.
"You get here, have your methadone and you are not thinking about taking drugs. You are thinking about moving your life forwards," says Senegalese native Moustapha Mbodj, a former heroin addict for more than 30 years.
The service available to addicts is rare in this part of the world.
CEPIAD's program is the only one of its kind in Senegal, and West Africa, offering clean needles and opioid substitutes. A 2017 report showed that out of 37 nations in Africa reporting drug use data to the United Nat