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Drug prevention, treatment and care  

Last Updated: Jul 6, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care

UNODC supports Member States in addressing drug use and drug addiction as any other health disorder: i.e. by implementing drug use prevention interventions and providing drug dependence treatment and care services, which are based on scientific evidence and on ethical standards. Another area of work is ensuring access to controlled drugs for medical purposes, whilst preventing diversion and abuse.

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Key Documents

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 9(I) in 1946, to assist the ECOSOC in supervising the application of the international drug control treaties. In 1991, the General Assembly (GA) further expanded the mandates of the CND to enable it to function as the governing body of the UNODC, and to approve the budget of the Fund of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, which accounts for over 90 per cent of the resources available to the United Nations for drug control. Read more

International Drug Control Conventions

Outcome document of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly special Session on the world drug problem

Joint Ministerial Statement of the 2014 High-Level Review by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Implementation by Member States of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem

International cooperation against the world drug problem

CND Res.42/6. Strengthening of information and preventive measures with a view to fostering the reduction of drug demand


UNODC-WHO Joint Programme on Drug Dependence Treatment and Care

In March 2009, UNODC and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a Joint Programme on Drug Dependence Treatment and Care.  The programme's objective is to support the development of comprehensive, integrated health-based approaches to drug policies that can reduce demand for illicit substances, relieve suffering and decrease drug-related harm to individuals, families, communities and societies.

Press Release

Brochure about the programme

Related information from the WHO

Key publications


Treatnet International Network of Drug Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation Resource Centres

UNODC has launched a new strategy on the treatment of drug dependence to promote and support evidence-based and ethical treatment policies worldwide. Treatnet promotes diversified, effective and quality drug dependence treatment and rehabilitation services, including HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

Treatnet Website

Treatnet Library

UN World Drug Campaign

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is leading the global campaign to raise awareness about the major challenge that illicit drugs represent to society as a whole, and especially to the young. The goal of the campaign is to mobilize support and inspire people to act against drug use.

Listen first campaign



Cover Art
Treatment Versus Punishment for Drug Addiction - Richard Soyer (Editor); Stefan Schumann (Editor)
Call Number: 615.015.6(4) S694 [16-09-2300052121]
ISBN: 9783319188232
Publication Date: 2015-08-26
This brief summarizes the results of a two-year, international research project covering drug addiction treatment versus punishment in Austria, Poland, and Spain. It features: -An analysis of the national drug-related legislation and its application in these countries - An evaluation of drug laws and policies by both the law enforcement and drug treatment practitioners -An evaluation of drug-addicted offenders undergoing drug treatment versus punishment and their outcomes The basic findings of the project can be summarized as follows: drug addiction and drug-related criminal behavior should be treated as a psychiatric disorder and a chronic disease. The study supports the application of a treatment-oriented approach to drug-related delinquency. As this brief demonstrates, one challenge to an adequate treatment of drug addicted offenders is a lack of cooperation between the judicial and the medical sector, and an inconsistent application of policies. By comparing the legislation and application of drug laws in these three European countries, the authors provide insights with implications for other national legal systems.

Cover Art
Governance of Female Drug Users: Women’s Experiences of Drug Policy - Natasha Du Rose
Call Number: 343.575:305 R67 [9859]
ISBN: 9781847426727
Publication Date: 2015-08-15
This book is the first to examine how female drug users' identities, and hence their experiences, are shaped by drug policies. Drawing from in-depth accounts from forty-one drug-using women, it offers an empirical analysis of the subjectivities current drug policies ascribe to women users and how these prolong--rather than end--their problematic drug use while reinforcing their social exclusion. Challenging popular misconceptions of female users, The Governance of Female Drug Users calls for the reformulation of drug policies based on gender equity and social justice.

Cover Art
Ketamine: use and abuse - David T. Yew (Editor)
Call Number: 343.575 K48 [9860]
ISBN: 9781466583399
Publication Date: 2015-04-01
This book reviews the acute and chronic effects of ketamine on the various organ systems (CNS, gastrointestinal, renal) of the body and in both adult and developing animals and humans. The book includes both exhaustive review of literature and introduction of new data (for example, in the chapters on respiratory system, intestinal organs and adrenal). The book includes chapters on the basic pharmacology of ketamine, tests for ketamine, action of ketamine as anti-depressant.

Cover Art
Recovery Stories - Kate Jopling
Call Number: 615.015.6 [8935]
ISBN: 9781909976160
Publication Date: 2014-09-29
Recovery Stories is a collection of first-hand accounts by people in recovery from or affected by drugs or alcohol. Invaluable for those looking to find new, addiction-free ways to live. It contains insights into the lives of real people who hit 'rock bottom' but came back again. Of interest across a wide-range of disciplines, including health, education and social services. Addiction is an illness that kills. Accused of lacking a moral compass and blamed for their own self-destruction, addicts are often forced to live on the margins of society. Afforded little sympathy or support, they may end-up involved in criminality, violence, dishonesty and face despair. They may hit rock bottom when day-to-day survival can become a delicate balance between life and death. But addiction-which occurs in every walk of life-need not be a 'life sentence'. As this book shows, no-one is beyond turning such dire situations around. Recovery Stories is a collection of true stories of triumph over adversity. It tells how the horror of addiction can be overcome, how people can free themselves of their dependency. It is a book of hope and inspiration which will encourage all those seeking 'new ways to live' a full, addiction-free and successful life.

Cover Art
Demons - Virginia Berridge
Call Number: 615.015.6‑056.83 B477
ISBN: 9780199604982
Publication Date: 2014-01-28
Tabloid headlines attack the binge drinking of young women. Debates about the classification of cannabis continue, while major public health campaigns seek to reduce and ultimately eliminate smoking through health warnings and legislation. But the history of public health is not a simple oneof changing attitudes resulting from increased medical knowledge, though that has played a key role, for instance since the identification of the link between smoking and lung cancer. As Virginia Berridge shows in this fascinating exploration, attitudes to public health, and efforts to change it,have historically been driven by social, cultural, political, and economic and industrial factors, as well as advances in science. They have resulted in different responses to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco at different times, in different parts of the world.Opium dens in London, temperance and prohibition movements, the appearance of new recreational drugs in the 20th century, the changing attitudes to smoking: by taking us through such examples, moulded by socio-economic and political forces, including the growing power of pharmaceutical companies,Berridge illuminates current debates. While our medical knowledge has advanced, other factors help shape our responses, as they have done in the past.

Cover Art
Principles of Addiction - Peter M. Miller (Editor-In-Chief)
Call Number: 615.015.6 [7684-1]
ISBN: 9780123983367
Publication Date: 2013-02-22
Principles of Addiction provides a solid understanding of the definitional and diagnostic differences between use, abuse, and disorder. It describes in great detail the characteristics of these syndromes and various etiological models. The book's three main sections examine the nature of addiction, including epidemiology, symptoms, and course; alcohol and drug use among adolescents and college students; and detailed descriptions of a wide variety of addictive behaviors and disorders, encompassing not only drugs and alcohol, but caffeine, food, gambling, exercise, sex, work, social networking, and many other areas. This volume is especially important in providing a basic introduction to the field as well as an in-depth review of our current understanding of the nature and process of addictive behaviors.


  • Addiction  Icon
    Addiction publishes peer-reviewed research reports on pharmacological and behavioural addictions, bringing together research conducted within many different disciplines. Its goal is to serve international and interdisciplinary scientific and clinical communication, to strengthen links between science and policy, and to stimulate and enhance the quality of debate.
  • Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy  Icon
    Drugs: education, prevention & policy publishes multi-disciplinary research papers, reviews and commentaries on policy, treatment, prevention and harm reduction issues regarding both the use and misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

  • European Addiction Research  Icon
    'European Addiction Research' is a unique international scientific journal for the rapid publication of innovative research covering all aspects of addiction and related disorders. Representing an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of recent data and expert opinion, it reflects the importance of a comprehensive approach to resolve the problems of substance abuse and addiction in Europe.
  • The American Journal on Addictions  Icon
    The American Journal on Addictions is the official journal of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. The Academy encourages research on the etiology, prevention, identification, and treatment of substance abuse; thus, the journal provides a forum for the dissemination of information in the extensive field of addiction.

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