GENEVA, Switzerland – September 2018: The Fifth WHO-UNODC Expert Consultation on NPS was held on 24 to 25 September 2018 at the WHO in Geneva. This year, the consultation focussed specifically on addressing challenges of the non-medical use of opioids, including synthetic opioids. An increasing trend in the non-medical use of opioids, both medicines and new psychoactive substances (NPS) with opioid effects, such as fentanyl analogues, has recently been observed. Several of these substances are extremely potent and harmful posing challenges to public health and law enforcement authorities in many countries. Approximately 50 experts from different regions of the world discussed related challenges and presented examples, which are already implemented at country, regional and global level. A number of additional options for response were identified, including enhancing collaboration between police services and the health sector, updating existing international guidelines on prevention and treatment to incorporate options for addressing the non-medical use of synthetic opioids, strengthening early warning systems, particularly at the national and regional level, improving monitoring systems to prevent the diversion and misuse of pain medication while ensuring adequate access, supporting international scheduling on NPS and precursors, and promoting and making better use of existing tools to exchange intelligence across borders.
For more information, please see:
WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products
UNODC Global Opioid Strategy