Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex B


Extract from the 1998 Declaration from the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs

  "Demand reduction programmes should cover all areas of prevention, from discouraging initial use to reducing the negative health and social consequences of drug abuse. They should embrace information, education, public awareness, early intervention, counselling, treatment, rehabilitation, relapse prevention, aftercare and social reintegration. Early help and access to services should be offered to those in need."

Extract from the Council of Europe declaration on Harm reduction — made after the October 2000 ministerial conference

  "We stress the need to reach drug abusers at the earliest possible point of their drug use career and to facilitate their contact with health and social services, even where they do not express the immediate wish to become drug free, and will ensure that care services are sufficiently available, diversified and accessible to meet this objective and assist drug abusers in reducing health risks;

  We encourage States to adapt risk reduction measures to both the individual and society, taking into consideration the local drug abuse situation and the related cultural context;

  We also stress the importance of public health aspects related to drug use and of the need to take measures and reinforce health promotion, preventive activities and risk reduction programmes against HIV infection, hepatitis and other infectious diseases".

International Narcotics Control Board: Extract from 1999 Annual Report

  "Drug injection rooms, where addicts may inject themselves with illicit substances, are being established in a number of developed countries, often with the approval of national and/or local authorities. The Board believes that any national, state or local authority that permits the establishment and operation of drug injection rooms or any outlet to facilitate the abuse of drugs (by injection or any other route of administration) also facilitates illicit drug trafficking. The Board reminds Governments that they have an obligation to combat illicit drug trafficking in all its forms. Parties to the 1988 Convention are required, subject to their constitutional principles and the basic concepts of their legal systems, to establish as a criminal offence the possession and purchase of drugs for personal (non-medical) consumption. By permitting drug injection rooms, a Government could be considered to be in contravention of the international drug control treaties by facilitating in, aiding and/or abetting the commission of crimes involving illegal drug possession and use, as well as other criminal offences, including drug trafficking. The international drug control treaties were established many decades ago precisely to eliminate places, such as opium dens, where drugs could be abused with impunity."

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