17th December 2017

International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

It is estimated that a total of 246 million people, or 1 out of 20 people between the ages of 15 and 64 years, used an illicit drug in 2013. Approximately one in ten people who use illicit drugs is suffering from a drug use disorder. Almost half of people with drug dependence inject drugs and of them more than 10% are living with HIV. Drug use disorders are a major global health problem.

Drug use disorders are a serious health issue, with a significant burden for individuals affected and their families. There are also significant costs to society including lost productivity, security challenges, crime and lawlessness, increased health care costs, and a myriad of negative social consequences. Caring for individuals with drug use disorders places a heavy burden on public health systems of member states and therefore improving treatment systems, making them the best they can be, would undoubtedly benefit not only the affected individuals, but also their communities and the whole society.

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