Side Event to the 62nd session of the CND: A health-centred approach to drug dependence


VIENNA, 14 March 2019 - International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) President, Dr. Viroj Sumyai, contributed to a side event on "A health-centred approach to drug dependence, a multi-factorial health disorder" held today at the margins of the 62nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The side event was organized by the Governments of Italy, Norway and the United States of America, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the International Narcotics Control Board, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Civil Society Task Force, and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Following a keynote statement by H.E. Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services, Norway, Dr. Sumyai joined other panellists for the institutional segment, including Mr. Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, Mr. Valdimir Poznyak, Coordinator, Management of Substance Abuse, WHO, and Mr. Timothy Martineau, Acting Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS.

The President of INCB emphasized the centrality of treatment, rehabilitation, and social reintegration for drug use disorders as essential components of drug demand reduction strategies and a health-centred approach to the treatment of drug use disorders. Dr. Sumyai stressed that the drug control treaties entail an obligation for "States parties to provide treatment for people with drug use disorders" which "is central to improving public health worldwide. Strengthening the prevention and treatment of drug use disorders is a critical target in attaining Sustainable Development Goal 3, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages".

Dr. Sumyai drew attention to the thematic chapter in the Board's 2017 report on " Treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration for drug use disorders: essential components of drug demand reduction" and its recommendations calling on Governments to study and implement them underlining that "doing so will go a long way to guaranteeing a health-centred approach to drug dependence".

The INCB President's statement at the side event is available here.




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