WHO, Partners Working Together on Opioids Problem

During the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria, three organizations have committed to improving equitable access to controlled medicines for pain management and palliative care and to scale up efforts to prevent non-medical drug use and to provide treatment services drug use disorders.

The 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has wrapped up in Vienna, Austria, with participants agreeing on the urgent need to address the drug problem around the world. The March 12-16 meeting began with three organizations committing to work together to improve equitable access to controlled medicines for pain management and palliative care and to scale up efforts to prevent non-medical drug use and to provide treatment services drug use disorders.

The International Narcotics Control Board, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the World Health Organization said in a statement they are committed to support Member States to effectively address and counter the world drug problem. CND is the central policy-making body on drugs within the United Nations system.

The three organizations agreed that if they are to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, including its health targets, they must vigorously address the world drug problem with a greater focus on the health and well-being of people, using a balanced, comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that puts people at the center of the response, especially those who are the most vulnerable.

They said they wiill focus their joint efforts on addressing several priorities, including:

  • improving equitable access to controlled medicines in particular for the management of pain and for palliative care
  • scaling up effective prevention of non-medical drug use and treatment services and interventions for drug use disorders
  • confronting the opioid crisis that is devastating so many communities
  • intensifying delivery to people who use drugs of a comprehensive set of effective and scientific evidence-based measures aimed at minimizing the adverse public health and social consequences of drug abuseproactively supporting countries to implement public health and social welfare measures as key elements of our response to the world drug problem; to enhance information-sharing and early warning mechanisms

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