Evidence-based practices are the best means of preventing and treating drug misuse, said UNODC chief executive Yury Fedotov in his closing message to the 58th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna. It was vital to ‘remove the damaging influence of ideology’ and instead provide help ‘solely on the basis of science and research’, he said.
The nine-day event saw 11 resolutions passed on issues including protecting young people from online sales of NPS and blocking ‘financial flows’ linked to drug trafficking. Harm Reduction International (HRI), meanwhile, used the CND to launch its ‘10 by 20’ campaign, which wants to see governments redirect 10 per cent of the money they spend on the ‘war on drugs’ to harm reduction by 2020.
‘Harm reduction interventions are low cost but have remarkably high impact, keeping HIV infection rates low among people who inject drugs and saving lives and healthcare costs,’ stated the organisation. ‘Yet many countries still do not provide harm reduction and global funding, for it amounts to just $160m – only 7 per cent of what is needed. By contrast, each year governments spend over $100bn waging an ineffective war on drugs.’
A call to redirect resources from the war on drugs to harm reduction at www.ihra.net