<p> </p><p>During its 63<sup>rd</sup> session, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) accepted all recommendations from the 42nd meeting of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD). This effectively brings twelve psychoactive substances, including eleven New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and one medicine, under international control. Given the potential for dependence or abuse and known adverse effects, these compounds pose a risk to public health and society and are largely without any therapeutic benefit. </p><p> Based on an in-depth review of candidate compounds by the ECDD, an independent group of experts in the field of drugs and medicines, the WHO provides annual recommendations on substance scheduling to the CND, a policy-making body comprised of 53 UN Member States. This ECDD review includes a balanced consideration of potential for abuse, dependence and harm with therapeutic value. The CND then votes on whether or not the WHO recommendations for placing reviewed substances under international control should be endorsed. </p><p> The 42<sup>nd</sup> ECDD recommendations included the addition of four synthetic cannabinoids and three synthetic stimulants to Schedule II of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances given similar action and adverse effects to other substances in this Schedule. These synthetic cannabinoids have been associated with impaired mental status, impaired driving, and fatalities, whereas the included synthetic stimulants have been linked to fatal intoxication. Similarly, two fentanyl analogues, with their opioid-like effects, were brought under Schedule I control (strict control) of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs given similar action and effects to other drugs in this Schedule. Two benzodiazepines including the medicine etizolam were brought under Schedule IV control of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, both of which have been implicated in fatal and non-fatal intoxication and impaired driving. A hallucinogen was also recommended to be brought under control, specifically to Schedule I of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, based on abuse potential and non-fatal and fatal intoxication. This is the first hallucinogen to be reviewed in many years, suggesting a potential shift in drug trends. For more information on these recommendations, please review the <a target=”_blank” href="https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/Prelayout_42nd_TRS_Final.pdf?ua=1"></a><a target=”_blank” href="https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/Prelayout_42nd_TRS_Final.pdf" target="_blank">42nd ECDD meeting report. </a> </p><p> In addition, the ECDD conducted a pre-review of several Schedule III opioid preparations, some of which can be accessed as over-the-counter options, such as codeine-based cough syrups, to consider their abuse potential. The ECDD recommended a critical review be carried out at a later date. </p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p>
Tags: Public Health
Architect since 2002, experienced in healthcare environment design. Master in public health sciences from the Charité Medical University in Berlin. Evidence-based Design researcher at TU-Berlin, helping ensure that urban & architectural design projects build positive health effectively. Founder of the Building Health Lab. BHL Building Health Lab Is a think tank that develops urban concepts for neighborhoods as strategy to build a sustainable healthy city. Our mission is to help government, industry, and citizens develop projects with social impact that protect people and planet health. With our expertise in health and design, we support health promotion and disease management through people-centred and climate adaptive designs.