World Health Organization Suggests Decriminalizing Personal Drug Use | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

World Health Organization Suggests Decriminalizing Personal Drug Use

Following the WHO's suggestion could lead to a drastic drop in the rate of drug abuse, as shown by Portugal.

Image: 

Shutterstock

By McCarton Ackerman

07/25/14

| Share

Last Week, the World Health Organization subtly called for the decriminalization of personal drug use in a 159-page report that focused mainly on global HIV prevention and care.

The report called for countries to work towards developing policies and laws that ban compulsory treatment for people who use drugs, decriminalize injection and other drug use, as well as permitting the use of clean needles and syringes. The recommendations on drug policy were confirmed by Dr. Andrew ball, WHO’s senior advisor on strategy, policy and equity in their Department of HIV. However, the organization is not advocating for the legalization of drugs worldwide nor endorsing drug use in any form.

“The guidelines recommend decriminalization of a range of behaviors of key populations—not just drug use—on public health grounds, so as to improve access to and utilization of health services, to reduce the likelihood of the adoption of riskier behaviors and to reduce incarceration rates," said Ball.

Other world organizations have also called for decriminalizing personal drug use in recent years. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said earlier this year that “criminal sanctions are not beneficial” when addressing addiction. A 2009 discussion paper from the office also noted that “treatment, rehabilitation, social reintegration and aftercare should be considered as an alternative to criminal justice sanctions.” The U.N. General Assembly has also formed tentative plans for a special session to address the “world drug problem in 2016."

Portugal took the step of becoming the world’s first country to decriminalize all drugs in 2001, resulting in a drastic drop in drug abuse ever since. Other countries have used Portugal’s success as the catalyst to consider similar measures for some or all illicit drugs.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv