CICAD 57 – Some Highlights

57th session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)

The 57th Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) took place in Washington DC from 29 April to 1 May 2015.  The CICAD session is one of the two main annual appointments for the National Delegates of the Organization of American States (OAS) discussing drug issues, policies and implication in the Americas.

Dianova International participated as observer to the commission, along with other non governmental representatives, contributing also to the side event organized by civil society and the government of Guatemala.

During the work of CICAD 57, under the 2015 chairmanship of Guatemala,  there was an increasing consensus on the need to move away from the current drug policy paradigm,  and putting the human being and not the substance  at the center of  the drug debate and  future policies.

After the high level panel of the opening, featuring the Minister of Interior of Guatemala, Héctor Mauricio López Bonilla, the Director of National Drug Control Policy of the United States, Michael Botticelli, and the Secretary General of OAS, José Miguel Insulza, the commission engaged in the discussion on the most relevant themes and current challenges in the Americas.

Great attention has been dedicated to the exchange of reflexion on alternatives to incarceration. Canada, Barbados, USA, Colombia and Ecuador, presented points of view of professional and authorities who deal directly with the issue, contributing to the Technical report on Alternatives to incarceration for drug related Crimes, which has been currently developed and soon will be available also as an on-line platform sharing best practice for member states consultation.

New Psychoactive Substances has been discussed as a growing challenge in the Americas. National and international experts with the contribution of UNODC, presented an overview of the trafficking, production and consumption of new psychoactive substances at the global level and also in the Americas. In facing this increasing threat, there is a constant need for up-to date information in order to be able to plan prevention and treatment interventions especially aimed at youngsters, who are the most affected population by this trend.

An important role in the session has been given to drug abuse treatment, especially focusing on the training and certification of human resources. The results of the Evaluation of the PROCCER program carried out in two Central American Countries has been shared, contributing to the creation of an hemispheric model for training and certification of human resources that provide treatment and rehabilitation services for person affected by drug abuse and related violence.

Moreover member states has been briefed on the challenges of the toxic adulterants added to drugs of abuse and the public health implications and threats especially for children and youngsters, an increasing trend in the Americas and around the globe.

Within the public health approach, prevention of social consequences of drug addiction as a mean to address the word drug problem has discussed. It was recognized the utmost importance to address the most visible social consequences caused by drug abuse such as violence, the break down of the social relations, exclusion and lack of opportunities to the integral development of the individuals affected by drug problems.

Another theme addressed by CICAD 57 is the medical marijuana. In order to contribute to the debate a review of the science available has been presented addressing the use of marijuana and other cannabinoids for medical purpose, focusing on possible benefits and limitation of this type of intervention.

At the margin of the official session a special lunch event was organized exclusively for the Heads of Delegations on the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem, UNGASS 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information and share opinion on possible hemispheric synergies in the UNGASS 2016 preparatory process.

The documents of the session and the official photo gallery are available on the CICAD website