SDG 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and
Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages



Target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol

Target 3.3: By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases

Target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all

Target 3.b: Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health

UNODC's work on drugs and health is inextricably linked to multiple Targets of SDG 3. The Office's existing mandate , for example, is fully in line with Target 3.5 on a number of fronts, including: supporting a balanced public health-oriented approach to the drug problem by working to end discrimination against, and promote interventions for, people who use drugs; and strengthening the access to comprehensive, evidence-based, and gender-responsive services for prevention of drug use and treatment of substance  drug use disorders, including as an alternative to conviction or punishment.

UNODC is also mandated to provide HIV prevention, treatment and care among people who use drugs or are in prisons, contributing towards ending AIDS by 2030, a segment of the Target 3.3.

The International Drug Control Conventions mandate Member States to increase access to essential controlled drugs. UNODC partners in particular with the World Health Organization (WHO) and civil society leaders to meet a section of Target 3.8 and Target 3.b which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.

Overall, UNODC promotes standards and guidelines, builds the capacity of governmental and non-governmental professionals, and seeks to establish effective partnerships at country level and internationally including with WHO and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and its other co-sponsors and civil society organizations. 

UNODC's research work supports countries in the monitoring and reporting of SDG 3 by implementing drug monitoring systems for collection of reliable data (while protecting human rights and confidentiality) of people suffering from drug use disorders and dependence, people injecting drugs (PWID) and living with HIV and those receiving evidence-based services for prevention and treatment of substance use disorders.

As a part of its work under this thematic area, UNODC further supports countries' forensic sector capacity development. One area is the identification and/or detection of substances of abuse which is a primary step for evidence-based interventions, including treatment. UNODC's initiatives to strengthen global forensic capacity, including through its early warning advisory on new psychoactive substances which monitors emerging substances of abuse, increases the preparedness of countries to reduce the risks due to these substances and to institute measures to prevent their abuse and the associated health risks.