the occasion of the International Day against drug abuse and
illicit trafficking: Pompidou Group recalls the need to
protect public health by ensuring essential services in drug
policy also in times of economic crisis and budgetary
The Pompidou Group is concerned the changing patterns of drug use under circumstances of strict austerity measures, such as the possible risk of an earlier onset of drug use, the increasing prevalence of injecting use, relapses, risk taking and overdosing, particularly among vulnerable groups, impacts on public health as well as on criminality. This increases the risk that the effects of economic crisis result in discriminatory attitudes of society towards drug use and people who use drugs.
In this context the Pompidou Group recalls the obligations of States under the Council of Europe and United Nations Conventions to protect fundamental rights and freedoms, in particular the right to life and human dignity, the right to protection of health, the right to equitable access to quality health care services for all, the prohibition of any type of discrimination as well as the right of children to be protected from narcotic drugs and psychoactive substances.
Therefore the Pompidou Group
calls on all actors in drug policy to initiate and support
immediate political action to mitigate the impact of
economic crises, particularly on the most vulnerable, and to
guarantee broad coverage, accessibility and quality of
essential services, despite budgetary constraints.
For further information refer to Pompidou Group Athens Declaration on ‘Protecting public health by ensuring essential services in drug policy under austerity budgets’ and explanatory memorandum (click for link)