Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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Only 1/6 of drug addicts has access to treatment

Drugs (pills) INCB report 2018

Only one out of six people in need of drug dependence treatment has access to treatment programmes according to the Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) published today.

The Annual Report calls on governments to do more for the treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration of people with drug use disorders, paying particular attention to special populations. Even where treatment is available, it is often of poor quality and may not be delivered in accordance with international standards.

The Report notes that various groups of people, including women or socially marginalized individuals, such as migrants and refugees, often do not have access to treatment services which take into account their special needs.

In this year’s Annual Report, the Board emphasizes that access to drug dependence treatment should be seen as an element of the right to health. Reducing the demand for drugs involves two overlapping but distinct approaches: the first is preventing people from starting to use drugs and the second is treating and rehabilitating people with drug use disorders. In this context, INCB calls on governments to give due regard to adopting strategies that address drug abuse, focusing on both prevention and on treatment and rehabilitation.


Non-medical cannabis legislation violates international obligations

Concerning the legalization of cannabis for non-medical purposes, the INCB once again emphasizes that such use would be contrary to the international drug control conventions. Limiting the use of controlled substances to medical and scientific purposes is a fundamental principle of the international drug control treaties to which no exception is possible.

The INCB report notes that the year 2018 marks the seventieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948,  and continues to stress the importance of the respect for human rights in the drug control measures undertaken by state parties. In particular, the Board highlights the need to protect and guarantee the right to health, the rights of alleged drug offenders and drug users at all stages of

criminal proceedings, the need for proportionality in state responses to drug offences and the abolishment of the death penalty for drug-related offences. In all cases and without exception, extrajudicial responses to drug-related criminality are unacceptable under the international drug control and human rights frameworks.


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