Past news and events on drug use prevention, treatment and care

Youth Initiative

December 2011 - The Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section has just launched the Youth Initiative to empower youth to take action on drug related issues! Check out our new page.

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Ensuring availability of controlled medications for the relief of pain and preventing diversion and abuse

October 2011 - At the 53rd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) held in March 2010, the Commission adopted Resolution 53/4 "Promoting adequate availability of internationally controlled licit drugs for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion and abuse". This Discussion Paper was prepared as a conference room paper for the 54th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs at which the adequate availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes in accordance with the international drug control treaties was on the agenda. Read more.

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The non-medical use of presciption drugs, policy direction issues

September 2011 - The non-medical use of prescription drugs controlled under the Conventions is an increasing problem in many countries. In some countries, this is second only to cannabis. This is most notably in North America, but there are also reports of significant treatment demand in Europe, Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Addressing the non-medical use of prescription drugs needs to carefully take into consideration the need to ensure the availability of these substances (that do have a recognised and much needed medical use), while preventing diversion and misuse. UNODC is developing a discussion paper to assist Member States in addressing the issue of the non-medical use of prescription drugs, focusing on recommendations for policy and practice. To this purpose, UNODC, together with WHO, convened a technical consultation in Vienna from 22 to 24 June 2010, inviting a wide range of researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Read more.

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August 2010 - UNODC has recently published a useful new Compilation of Evidence-Based Family Skills Training Programmes . It provides policymakers, programme managers, non-governmental organizations and others interested in implementing family skills training programmes with a review of existing evidence-based family skills training programmes. UNODC received descriptions of some 150 programmes; the programmes included in this publication are those regarded, on the basis of randomized control trials, as having had positive results. The programmes appear in descending order according to the level of scientific evidence on which they are based. Read more.

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Treating drug dependence through healthcare, not punishment

May 2010 - Treatment offered as an alternative to criminal justice sanctions has to be evidence-based and in line with ethical standards. UNODC convened a technical consultation of experts from 28 to 30 October 2009 in Vienna where 20 reserchers, policy makers and practitioner from 13 countries worldwide participated. On the basis of the discussions, UNODC produced this discussion paper which outlines a model of referral from the criminal justice system to the treatment system that is mor e effective than compulsory treatment. This model of referral results in less restriction of liberty, is less stigmatising and offers better prospects for the future of the individual and the society. From coercion to cohesion: Treating drug dependence through healthcare, not punishment. Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish.

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UNODC-WHO Joint Programme on drug dependence treatment and care:

April 2010 - UNODC and WHO both have constitutional mandates to address issues presented by drug use and dependence. Moreover, taking into account the health, socio-economic and security implementations of drug use and related disorders, the two agencies are uniquely positioned to lead this initiative. In particular, it will open a dialogue with Member States and involve a varied group of government ministries such as those for health, welfare, as well as the criminal justice system and other relevant sectors.Our Brochure contains information on the programme and on the issues. Available in: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish.

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While the tools to monitor the control measures of the international drug convention are important, as important is the monitoring of the impediments to availability of opioid analgesics.

These impediments leading to underuse of controlled medicine to be monitored have been elaborately described in the UNODC conference room paper presented during the 54 th session of CND [1] . Based on these indicators, and in consultation with INCB, UNODC has drafted a questionnaire that might present a more elaborate and detailed assessment of these impediments. The CND might wish to consider the work done on the matter and provide its guidance on actions UNODC need to undertake in the future. The draft questionnaire below is a proposed way to enhance reporting on impediments to access to pain medications. Accordingly, Member States are invited to review this questionnaire and provide their feedback in this regard.



[1] Conference Room Paper "Ensuring availability of controlled medications for the relief of pain and preventing diversion and abuse" based on a scientific workshop, January 18-19, 2011. UNODC, Vienna