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E-038/99ie
April 14, 1999

INTER-AMERICAN DRUG ABUSE CONTROL TO INCORPORATE MORE SCIENCE

The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) will in future use more scientific basis in its activities against drug abuse in the hemisphere. This was stated by the David Beall, Executive Director of the drug control agency as he presented the Commission’s 1998 annual report to the OAS Permanent Council today.

Citing demand-reduction as an area of "required innovation," Beall declared that it will be much more based on the findings of science rather than the speculations of interested parties that lack a close medical or scientific knowledge of exactly what happens in terms of human behavior or body chemistry.

He predicted that "prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in the future will be much more a product of science and medicine that it has been so far." To that end, he said the Organization of American States (OAS) specialized agency was expecting to work more closely with professional associations to give it "a more professional science approach," adding that "science is the future in the field of demand-reduction. It is also part of the future in terms of how you evaluate programs."

The CICAD chief also reported that the agency had so far negotiated 82 indicators that will be used in assessing the effectiveness of anti-narcotics efforts by the hemisphere’s nations. These will be applied under a multilateral evaluation mechanism that is being developed as part of a hemispheric strategy against illegal drugs.

The report drew commendation from a number of OAS member state delegations concerning the work by the Commission.

As Permanent Council Chairman, Argentina’s Ambassador Julio CÚsar Araoz presided over the meeting at which the CICAD report was presented.

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