United Nations and Pakistan are working on a new project to ensure addicts have access to treatment and care in the country.
Pakistan is joining UN World Health Organization WHO & UN Office for Drug Control UNODC to promote treatment, care of those with substance abuse disorders, a UN news release said. It will support ongoing efforts to enhance access to services for preventing and treating drug-related problems.
A 2006 national assessment of drug use in Pakistan estimated there were 628,000 opiate users, with around 482,000, or some 77% heroin addicts. Number of injecting drug users in 2006 was estimated at 125,000, double the figure of year 2000.
“We applaud Pakistan for taking this action to improve lives of people with substance dependence,” said Guido Sabatinelli, WHO representative to Pakistan. “Providing treatment to people suffering from this disease and small investment in treatment services can have large impact for drug users, their families and society at large,” he added.
Drug dependence and illicit drug use are associated with health problems, poverty, violence, criminal behaviour, social exclusion, says Gilberto Gerra, chief of UNODC’s Drug Prevention & Health Branch.
WHO-UNODC Joint Program aims to support evidence-based and ethical treatment policies, strategies, interventions for drug use and dependence.
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