Harm reduction is a set of strategies that aim to reduce negative consequences of drug use, by mitigating the potential dangers and health risks. UNODC has significantly expanded its HIV/AIDS programme thanks to support from harm reduction-friendly donor countries, despite ambiguities on the issue within UN drug control agencies. There is a need for up-scaling of basic services for HIV/AIDS prevention and the 'frontline' of heroin prescription and drug consumption rooms.

  • Flexibility of treaty provisions

    as Regards Harm Reduction Approaches
    UNODC Legal Affairs Section
    30 September 2002

    In a confidential and authoritative memorandum to the INCB, UNODC legal experts argue that most harm reduction measures are in fact acceptable under the conventions. According to the Legal Affairs Section "it could easily be argued that the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction provide a clear mandate for the institution of harm reduction policies that, respecting cultural and gender differences, provide for a more supportive environment for drug users."

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  • Recent developments regarding drug law and policy in Germany and the European Community

    Lorenz Böllinger
    Journal of Drug Issues
    Spring 2002

    Recent developments in drug policy can be regarded as taking place in stages based on certain changeable paradigms: the abstinence paradigm, the medicalization paradigm and the acceptance paradigm. For the time being there seems to be a slow transition from the first to the latter, implying that elements of all three are presently active in a diversity of policies and strategies, differing between states and regions of the German federal state and the European Union as well as between different levels of drug policy and drug care.

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  • Crack Heads and Roots Daughters

    The Therapeutic Use of Cannabis in Jamaica
    Melanie Dreher
    Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, 2(3-4), 121-133

    An ethnographic study of women and drug use in inner city neighborhoods in Kingston, Jamaica, revealed that cannabis is commonly used in conjunction with crack cocaine to minimize the undesirable effects of crack pipe smoking, specifically paranoia and weight loss.

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  • Reviewing legal aspects of substitution treatment at international level

    European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
    ELDD Comparative Study
    August 2000

    Treatment for drug addiction was seen as a measure to reduce drug abuse as early as 1961 when the UN Single Convention was signed. However, the only recognised concept of drug treatment mentioned by the Convention concerned the detoxification of the individual through ‘drug-free treatment’. Therapeutic measures aimed at treating drug addictions through maintenance and related distributions of alternative substances are not expressly mentioned by the UN Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988.

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  • Use of Narcotic Drugs in Public Injection Rooms under Public International Law

    Swiss Institute of Comparative Law
    January 7, 2000

    State-controlled public injection rooms are not expressly referred to in any of the rele­vant international conventions. It is thus necessary to determine, by way of a prelimi­nary factual enquiry, the exact characteristics of such institutions that fall within the ambit of one or more of the conventions. The rather superficial provisions concerning drug addicts stand in stark contrast to the stated primary aims of the conventions, which are formulated in the preambles as pre­venting and combatting abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and the public health and social problems which such abuse engenders.

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  • The impact of heroin prescription on heroin markets in Switzerland

    Martin Killias & Marcelo F. Aebi
    Crime Prevention Studies,
    Volume 11, pp. 83-99

    A program of heroin prescription was introduced in Switzerland in 1994. This initially targeted 1,000 heavily dependent heroin users, most of whom were also involved in drug dealing and other forms of crime. It has recently been extended to cover 3,000 users. Evaluation of its impact on users shows large reductions in use of illicit drugs and in drug-related crime.

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  • Therapeutic Use of Cannabis by Crack Addicts in Brazil

    Eliseu Labigalini Jr, Lucio Ribeiro Rodrigues and Dartiu Xavier Da Silveira
    Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 31 (4)
    October-December 1999

    This study ensued from clinical observations based on spontaneous accounts by crack abusers undergoing their first psychiatric assessment, where they reported using cannabis in an attempt to ease their own withdrawal symptoms.

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