Alternatives to Conviction or Punishment Available for People Who Use Drugs

Substance/drug use disorders are multifactorial and biopsychosocial health disorders, associated with additional health problems, socio-economic inequalities, violence, criminal behaviour and social exclusion. In addition to the public health and developmental dimension of substance/drug use disorders, people with substance/drug use disorders are often in contact with the criminal justice system. Strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance/drug use disorders in line with the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention and theInternational Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders is an essential demand reduction strategy that can contribute to both improved public health and security.

This draft summary of Note Verbale (NV) response was prepared by the UNODC following the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) resolution 58/5 “Supporting the collaboration of public health and justice authorities in pursuing alternatives measures to conviction or punishment for appropriate drug related offences of a minor nature.”

The aim of this draft summary paper, which was produced in collaboration with the African Union, is to map out the existing situation with regard to treatment of drug use disorders provided as an alternative to conviction or punishment in UN Member States.

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