UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Study on the impact of the world drug problem on the enjoyment of human rights. Human Rights Council, 30th. True to the stated goals of the international drug-control regime, it is possible to have drug policy that contributes to the health and wellbeing of. IDPC promotes objective and open debate on the effectiveness, direction and content of drug policies at the national and international level, and supports evidence-based policies that are effective at reducing drug-related harm.


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Public Health and International Drug Policy

The SDGs embody both the UN International drug policy values of rights and justice for all and the international drug policy of states to rely on the best scientific evidence as they seek to better humankind.

In Aprilthese same states will consider control of illicit drugs, an area of social policy that has been fraught with controversy, seen as inconsistent with human rights norms, and for which scientific evidence and public health approaches have arguably played too limited a role.

This goal is enshrined in national law in many countries. The Johns Hopkins — Lancet Commission on Drug Policy and Health has sought to examine the emerging scientific evidence on public health issues arising from drug control policy and to inform and encourage a central focus on public health evidence and outcomes in drug policy debates, such as the important deliberations of the UNGASS on drugs.


The Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission is concerned that drug policies are often colored by ideas about drug use and drug dependence that are not scientifically grounded. The UNGASS declaration, for example, like the UN drug conventions and many national drug laws, does not distinguish between drug use and drug abuse.

Health impact of drug policy based on enforcement of prohibition The pursuit of drug prohibition has generated a parallel economy run by criminal networks. Both these networks, which resort to violence to protect their markets, and the police and sometimes military or paramilitary forces that pursue them contribute to violence and insecurity in communities affected by drug international drug policy and sales.

In Mexico, the dramatic increase in homicides since the government decided to use military international drug policy against drug traffickers in has been so great that it reduced life expectancy in the country.

International Drug Policy Unit

Injection of drugs with contaminated equipment is a international drug policy route of HIV exposure and viral hepatitis transmission. People who inject drugs PWID are also at high risk of tuberculosis.

The continued spread of unsafe injection-linked HIV contrasts the progress that has international drug policy seen in reducing sexual and vertical transmission of HIV in the last three decades.

The Commission found that that repressive drug policing greatly contributes to the risk of HIV linked to injection. Policing may be a direct international drug policy to services such as needle and syringe programmes NSP and use of non-injected international drug policy to treat dependence among those who inject opioids, known as opioid substitution therapy OST.

Police seeking to boost arrest totals have been found to target facilities that provide these services to find, harass, and detain large numbers international drug policy people who use drugs.

Drug paraphernalia laws that prohibit possession of injecting equipment lead PWID to fear carrying syringes and force them to share equipment or dispose of it unsafely. Policing practices undertaken in the name of the public good have demonstrably worsened public health outcomes.

Amongst the most significant impacts of pursuit of drug prohibition identified by the Commission with respect to infectious international drug policy is the excessive use of incarceration as international drug policy drug-control measure.

Many national laws impose lengthy custodial sentences for minor, non-violent drug offenses; people who use drugs PWUD are over-represented in prison and pretrial detention.

Public Health and International Drug Policy

international drug policy Drug use and drug injection occur in prisons, though their occurrence is often denied by officials. HIV and hepatitis C virus HCV transmission occurs among prisoners and detainees, often complicated by co-infection with TB and in many places multidrug-resistant TB, and too few states offer prevention or treatment services in spite of international guidelines that urge comprehensive measures, including provision of injection equipment, for people in state custody.

Mathematical modelling undertaken by the Commission illustrates that incarceration and high HCV risk in the post-incarceration period can contribute importantly to national HCV incidence amongst PWID in a range of countries with varying levels of incarceration, different average prison sentences, durations of injection, and OST coverage levels in prison and following release.

These results underscore the importance of alternatives to international drug policy for minor drug offences, ensuring access to OST in prison, and a seamless link from prison services to OST in the community. The evidence also clearly demonstrates that drug law enforcement has been applied in a discriminatory way international drug policy racial and ethnic minorities in a number of countries.


The US is perhaps the best documented but not the only case of racial biases in policing, arrest, and sentencing. InAfrican American men were more than five times more likely than whites to be incarcerated in their lifetime, though there is no significant difference international drug policy rates of drug use among these populations.

International Journal of Drug Policy - Elsevier

The impact of this bias on communities of people of color is inter-generational and socially and economically devastating. The Commission also found significant gender biases in current drug policies.

Of women in prison and pretrial detention around the world, a higher international drug policy are detained because of drug infractions than is the case for men.