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UNODC: Promoting Community-based Treatment for Drug Use Disorders



Bangkok (Thailand), 9 April 2014
- UNODC today launches the Southeast Asia Information Brief on Community-based Treatment and Care for Drug Use and Dependence and the Guidance Document for Community-based Treatment and Care Services for People Affected by Drug Use and Dependence in Southeast Asia.

These documents follow up on the 2012 UN Joint Statement on Compulsory Drug Detention and Rehabilitation Centres which called for the closure of compulsory centres. The documents advocate voluntary, evidence-informed community-based health and social services as alternatives to the centres.

Drug-use disorders are health conditions that can affect any individual, family or community. People suffering from drug use disorders can and do manage their condition, recover and lead happy, productive and full lives - if they get help.

However, misperceptions, fears of social and legal consequences, and discrimination keep people away from the services they need.

UNODC promotes a health-oriented approach to drug dependence.

The UNODC-WHO Joint Programme on drug dependence treatment and care promotes and supports worldwide evidence-based policies, strategies and interventions that use a public health and human rights approach to reduce drug use and its health and social burdens. The Joint Programme encourages investment in comprehensive results-oriented programmes for drug dependence treatment and care, particularly community-based interventions.

The dominant response in Southeast Asia to drug use and dependence is compulsory centres for drug users. These are not consistent with a number of the Principles of Drug Dependence proposed by UNODC and WHO in 2009. Community-based treatment for drug use disorders, a cost-effective alternative, is not well understood in the region.

Both the Information Brief and the Guidance Document outline community-based treatment as an alternative model to compulsory centres, one that results in less restriction of liberty, is more cost-effective, less stigmatizing and that offers a better future for the individual and society.



The Information Brief aims to help decision makers, community leaders and health, social work and law enforcement practitioners develop a common understanding of community-based treatment for drug use disorders, while the Guidance Document helps practitioners implement community-based treatment.

Click here to read the
Southeast Asia Information Brief on Community-based Treatment and Care for Drug Use and Dependence EN, CH, KH, LAO, MY, TH, VN

Guidance Document for Community-Based Treatment and Care Services for People Affected by Drug Use and Dependence in Southeast Asia