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High Level Segment – Statement by Spain

In 2009, the CND High Level Segment focused on progress made since 1998. The production and trafficking of drugs is a crime, except for medical use. This is all included in our national strategy on drugs. We want to stress the important role of law enforcement in Spain because of its geographic position. Efforts to control and dismantle actions of criminals have been established. We are in touch with international agencies and other countries.

We also have a public health approach for drug use. Users should be provided with treatment. Demand reduction in our drug strategy covers all aspects – prevention, treatment, risk and harm reduction, reinsertion rehabilitation. But the first step in prevention is avoiding access to drugs. We need strategies based on scientific evidence to reduce consumption, to see whether we are the winners or the losers of the war on drugs.

The government has to prevent marginalisation of addicts and return them to society. We must achieve full reintegration. We do not have waiting lists for our treatment systems. We ensure the patient accepts the programme as the way to achieve the treatment. We aim to preserve their life, and then to eliminate their drug consumption.

For years, we have worked on risk and harm reduction so that people accept treatment. We have specialised actions for drug addicts on proper programmes for reintegration. Providing free needles and OST is not accepted everywhere, but it is effective. This has been showed during the heroin epidemic. There is not one specific model, there are many different models. Utopia cannot be reached – that is, the elimination of any drug consumption. The final aim is achieving the well being of individuals. In Spain, we have seen a fall in controlled substances being consumed. Cannabis use has fallen by a third, and cocaine by 60%. The three major drugs used are alcohol, cigarettes and some pharmaceutical drugs which are licit and regulated. We believe that everything we have done respects the spirit and the letter of the UN drug conventions. Spain is willing to participate in the debate, as part of our common and shared responsibility.

Please click here to view the full statement: http://myconference.unov.org//Documents/Get/1f0eedec-68bb-4bae-9fbd-3769839e21a0

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