Abuse of prescription drugs is second only to abuse of cannabis in US, UN drugs panel says

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 23 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b684
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    The misuse of illicit drugs and prescription drugs continues unabated in rich and poor nations, a report by the International Narcotics Control Board warns.

    The expert panel says governments must seriously tackle drug misuse and invest more in its prevention, especially in young people and vulnerable groups.

    Professor Hamid Ghodse, the board’s president, says treatment of addicts “remains a difficult medical task” and adds that such treatment should be carried out in line with sound medical practice.

    With regard to drug substitution programmes, he says that although they have their place in drug control policy, “they should not necessarily be regarded as the ultimate goal but an interim stage that would eventually lead to a healthy drug-free lifestyle.”

    “Drug substitution programmes should be supported by psychosocial care . . . providing that this is …

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