Dianova participated in the third Forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours of the World Health Organization
The Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Unit that is within the Mental Health and Substance Use the of WHO conveyed the third international forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours (FABAD) to strengthen partnership to accelerate and sustain public health actions in a rapidly changing world. The meeting took place 22-25 June 2021 ad it was held in a virtual format.
Wide range of topics covered
For a four-days event, the program was very broad and rich. On this occasion, the focus was inevitably COVID and the challenges for public health, the innovation in policy and programmes that it prompted. Moreover, the forum reviewed the progress after five years of UNGASS as well as the advancements towards the SDG health target 3.5 on strengthening prevention and treatment of substance use disorder. This was particularly interesting and comes at a time when the focus is on the HLPF review process.
There were many technical presentations on topics such as gaming disorders, health at the workplace, information systems on substance use and addictive behaviours, cannabis and health as well as the presentation of international standards on prevention and treatment. The program counted as well with sessions on overdose death prevention, harmful use of cannabis and systems of classification, diagnosis and nomenclature. It was interesting to learn from experts from organizations such as UNODC or WHO, but also from concrete examples from good practices from different countries in the world.
Moreover, the third FADAB gave the opportunity to discuss drafts of the global action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol (2022-2030) and on the technical issues related to cross-border alcohol marketing.
Much needed common approach
Dianova has been attending this event, that is invitation-only, since 2017 (summaries of the first forum in 2017 and second forum in 2019) and is really glad that drug policy aspects are dealt together with alcohol and addictive behaviours in a more comprehensive manner and from a public health approach. It is very important to treat such aspects from a common approach.
At the UN level, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the main body for dealing with problems linked with drugs and controlled substances, while the
the World Health Organization (WHO) tackles issues that arise from alcohol consumption and more and more addictive behaviours. Given that addiction problems are interlinked and are transversal and even more so from the public health perspective, there is a close cooperation and collaboration between both organizations.
As addiction treatment providers Dianova has to deal with situations that combine problematics from the harmful use of alcohol, substance use disorders and addictive behaviours. Therefore, we welcome very much this joint approach.
Moreover, it is not a secret that the field of addictive behaviours requires much attention and research in order to identify and describe the problematic, and come up with effective prevention and treatment programs. We would like to congratulate WHO for leading on this and hope this topic will gain visibility in the upcoming years in other UN-forums as well.