What is it about?

Governments have a dual, not a dueling, obligation to establish a system of control that ensures the adequate availability of and access to controlled medications for medical and scientific purposes while simultaneously preventing the illicit manufacturing, the diversion, trafficking and non-medical use of controlled substances. Governments whose populations are being harmed by both, or only one of, the opioid epidemics -- untreated pain and/or non-medical use -- can improve patient access and reduce non-medical use of opioids by applying the central principle of “balance” to their drug control policies and applying existing UNODC and WHO guidelines.

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Why is it important?

Many more people will die in pain, and die from overdoses or in prison, if balanced drug policies are not implemented.


I have seen many people die in pain, and many people suffer in prison for drug related sentences. Unbalanced drug policies cause needless suffering.

Dr Katherine Pettus
International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ensuring and Restoring Balance on Access to Controlled Substances for Medical and Scientific Purposes: Joint Statement from Palliative Care Organizations, Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, September 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/15360288.2018.1488792.
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