UNODC co-organized Conference on Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care highlights need for evidence- and human rights-based approaches

UNODC co-organized Conference on Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care highlights need for evidence- and human rights-based approaches4 July 2019 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), together with the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP), organized the 'International Conference on Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care: Inspiration & Direction' at the Vienna International Centre from 1 to 5 July. The aim of the conference was to strengthen the international work force on drug demand reduction to reduce the human and social cost of substance disorders, particularly amongst the most vulnerable.

The priority for UNODC's work on drug prevention and treatment is to promote and support evidence- and human rights-based treatment policies, strategies, and interventions to reduce negative health and social consequences caused by drug use and drug use disorders. It has a strong focus on low- and middle-income countries and gender considerations.

ISSUP, as a global, not-for-profit, non-government organisation that supports the development of a professional substance use prevention, treatment and recovery network, is an ideal partner for this work. 

The conference brought together over 600 experts in substance use prevention, treatment and care from 120 countries, the highest number of countries ever at an ISSUP event. Participants discussed how to fight stigma and discrimination, bridge science and practice, inspire new strategies on prevention and treatment of drug use disorders and promote human rights and the patient's dignity.

The event included all-day training workshops, plenary sessions on the latest scientific progress made in substance use prevention and treatment of substance use disorders, a regional meeting for European universities that are providing or are interested in delivering addiction curricula, a poster session and a photo exhibition on the world drug problem. Health care professionals also had the chance to take an exam to receive ISSUP credentials.

This Conference provides "a much-needed platform for exchange, and in this way contributes to the development of a well-trained and knowledgeable international network of experts", said Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of UNODC, at the official opening ceremony on 1 July underlying the importance of sharing knowledge and building networks to make a difference for those in need.

The conference was organized with the support of the US Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Further information

UNODC on drug prevention, treatment, care and rehabilitation - https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/drug-prevention-and-treatment/index.html

World Drug Report 2019 - https://wdr.unodc.org/wdr2019/

International Society of Substance Use Professionals - https://www.issup.net/