Controlling the control Substance.

Gauri Sachan explains the agenda of “Control and trade of addictive substances with medicinal properties”, for United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

An important trend in public health research is the inclusion of legal controls and interferences within a single model of drug abuse research. Improper usage of such drugs results in death. Many Nations have induced a drug illicit policy since past few decades. Increasing drug-induced crimes have created havoc in nations ever since these drugs(“Medicines”) were brought into the pharmacological world. Observing the continuous growth of drug-influenced crimes, the nations were forced to limit the trade and usage of Medicinal valued drugs which otherwise were used for illicit purposes.

The International Drug Control System is based primarily on three conventions namely, “Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs” of 1961, the “Convention on Psychotropic Substances” of 1971 which added the psychotropic substances to the list of illicit drugs, whose usage and trade is limited to scientific and medicinal purpose only. And lastly, the “United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic In Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances” of 1988 which established a more detailed system of restriction against the trafficking of illicit drugs with particular attention to the diversion of forerunners and money laundering.

The drafters of 1961 convention, were well aware of the fact, regarding the usage of narcotic drugs and psychotropic drugs outside the medicinal world. Intake of these drugs at the wrong dosage could easily compromise human life. Thus they introduced the drug control system into the convention. Illegal usage and trade of listed drugs are considered as a violation of the drafted conventions. Despite the strict regulations sentenced by the conventions, the illegal trade and possession of these drugs exist.

Many nations realised these conventions and sentenced imprisonment and severe punishments at the violations of these conventions. These conventions were designed for controlled usage and trade of drugs restricted only to medicinal and scientific purposes. These provisions are drafted to serve the purpose of “No illicit usage of drugs” and to provide relief from pain and suffering by ensuring the safe delivery of the best affordable drugs to those patients who need them and, at the same time, to limit the diversion of drugs for abuse.

However, scientific studies suggest that drug abuse and illegal usage of drugs is a result of one’s vulnerable atmosphere. After the 1961 convention, it was found that drug abuse is in particular, a summed up result of multifactorial chronic symptom which affects the brain. Ranging from psychological state to physical conditions and the surrounding environment all play a crucial role in initiating drug abuse.

Contrary to the basic convention of 1961, Article 36, para1 b) of 1961 states that ‘when abusers of drugs have committed such offences, the Parties may provide, either as an alternative to conviction or punishment or in addition to conviction or punishment, that such abusers shall undergo measures of treatment, education, aftercare, rehabilitation and social reintegration.’

The convention never indicated the death penalty for the violation of their statements. The violators are entitled to imprisonment, pecuniary, sanctions, confiscations and deprivation of liberty. In most of the scenarios, the violators are minors, thus sentences like, treatment and rehabilitation services are commenced.  

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