Our work

Following the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, UNODC has put both health and human rights at the center stage of countering the world drug problem.

As drug dependence often follows the course of a relapsing and remitting chronic health disorder, it is critically important, that individuals with drug use disorders receive nothing less than what is expected for any other chronic disease.

This appeal directly translates into the core area of work of the UNODC Drug Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation unit, which is the provision of technical assistance to Member States in order to create humane, low-cost, effective and evidence-based drug treatment services.

Therefore, UNODC with regard to drug dependence treatment and rehabilitation, supports Member States in:

  • Raising the awareness of policy makers with respect to the advantages of investing in drug disorder treatment
  • Supporting national authorities in developing legislations, policies, and standards of care which enable the implementation of contemporary treatment approaches
  • Channeling knowledge from research into practice and facilitating the sharing and dissemination of know-how through national and regional-level trainings
  • Promoting and strengthening evidence-based capacity building among drug use disorder treatment and rehabilitation professionals
  • Providing a basic package of integrated, evidence-based drug treatment and care services that are science- and human-rights based and also cater to different and special population groups, such as women, youth and criminal justice offenders
  • Promoting drug dependence treatment and rehabilitation in addition/as alternative to corporate punishment
  • Applying treatment services to their full potential for the prevention and care of HIV/AIDS
  • Developing data collection, monitoring and evaluation systems at the local, regional and national level to allow for better planning of drug dependence treatment and care services and to ensure the measurability of their effectiveness


The UNODC Drug Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation unit also facilitates access to the latest scientific publications and standards on the topic of drug dependence treatment and care and provides guidance on how to translate science into practice, also within low resource settings.

To secure accessible health care services, social protection, and a new outlook on life for those negatively affected by drug use disorders, whilst overcoming the prevailing stigma with regard to this disease, UNODC continues its efforts with determination, in providing direct support to Member States to: develop sound treatment and rehabilitation systems with a recovery framework; to enhance health and social service providers' capacities; to provide support to community-based services as well as to appropriate programmes for people with drug use disorders within the criminal justice system.

Key Tools of our work

© Nick Danziger for UNODC

As part of UNODC's efforts in supporting Member States through technical assistance on drug dependence treatment and care, a number of ... read more

Our projects

© Nick Danziger for UNODC

The UNODC Drug Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation unit is currently implementing three global projects, which aim at supporting ... read more