Reducing the demand for drugs

The focus on illicit drugs in WHO/Europe focuses on developing policies and strategies to reduce the demand for drugs. Prevention is a very important and cost-effective part of such strategies but the main work of WHO is to support Member States in providing effective treatment programmes for drug users, including harm reduction measures, to avoid the spread of such communicable diseases as HIV infection and hepatitis.

Some of this work is done in close collaboration with other programmes within the WHO Regional Office - the Health in Prisons Project and the HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis programme.

An important part of technical support to Member States assisting them in developing national guidelines on opioid substitution therapy.