Ineffective Treatment

The quality of treatment and interventions provided is also low, partly due to reduced human resources capacity and ineffective referral systems.

For instance, less than one per cent of opiate-using PWIDs in the problem drug user study had been referred to structured treatment in the past 12 months.

Tracking Drug Use

According to recent research, drug treatment services are running without a solid evidence base. Further, information on drug use prevalence, trends, and behaviors is lacking.

Current information management systems are poor and there is a scarcity of data on treatment effectiveness. Treatment center locations do not necessarily correspond to potential demand.

Limited Services

Structured treatment and low-threshold interventions are currently only available to a limited number of drug users.

UNODC estimates these services cover, at most, 30,000 drug users each year.

Of past-year users participating in the household survey that had sought treatment in the past year only 18 per cent were women.

Cost & Treatment

Of regular opiate users, 41 per cent had been in treatment during their lifetime and 10 per cent in the past year.

More than three-quarters of regular opiate users and PWIDs report wanting to get help but being unable to.

The majority identified cost as the main barrier to accessing treatment.

Usage vs. Possession

Approximately half of all opiate users self-reported an arrest for a drug-related offence and 10 per cent had been arrested during the past year.

Of those ever arrested, more than 70 per cent were arrested for using drugs and around 40 per cent for possession of drugs. The average age of first arrest was 27 years.

Trespass Against Justice

Harsh sentencing for non-violent crimes like drug possession and distribution trespasses against justice.

Criminologists, epidemiologists, and sociologists have studied the effects of incarceration on families and communities.

They have discovered that, after a certain point, raising incarceration rates distressingly reinforces patterns of poverty and criminality rather than dismantling them.