The World Health Organization (WHO) logo - Official website The World Health Organization (WHO) logo - Official website

First WHO Forum on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviors

Wed, Jun. 21, 2017
CAIRO – 21 June 2017: The World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuses is planning to hold its first Forum on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviors (FADAB) on June 26-28 at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

The forum marks the International Day Against Drug abuse and Trafficking on June 26. The primary goal of the forum is to enhance public health actions on addictive actions by strengthening partnerships and collaboration among public health oriented organizations and networks in the era of Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs).

WHO Forum Flyer - Courtesy of WHO

“The World Health Organization (WHO) Forum on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviors is a new initiative that will strengthen international partnerships and collaboration in order to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time. Harmful use of alcohol as well as drugs and addictive behaviors have devastating effects on individuals, families and their communities and have enormous socioeconomic impacts at national and global levels. We have a shared responsibility to prevent and reduce this burden.” Oleg Chestnov, Assistant Director-General, Noncommunicable Diseases, and Mental Health, WHO official website

Diverse group of stakeholders are expected to participate in the forum including policy-makers, health-care providers, academics, representatives of governments, UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations and professional associations.

According to WHO official website, the forum will discuss variety of topics including: substance use disorders and development within the context of SDG 2030; public health burden of alcohol and drug use disorders by highlighting the links between addiction and injuries; social consequences of addiction, as well as prevention and treatment interventions for health conditions due to addictive behaviors including new psychoactive substances.

WHO reports that the harmful use of alcohol results in 3.3 million deaths annually across the world. On average every person in the world aged 15 years or older drinks 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per year. Less than half the population 38.3 percent actually drinks alcohol, this means that those who do drink consume on average 17 liters of pure alcohol annually. Furthermore, at least 15.3 million persons have drug use disorders. Injecting drug use reported in 148 countries, of which 120 report HIV infection among this population.

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