Drug: 3 associations deplore lack of data on overdoses in Morocco

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HEALTH – On the occasion of the International Day for the Prevention of Overdoses, celebrated on August 31, the Association for the Fight against AIDS (ALCS), the National Association for Drug Risk Reduction (RDR Morocco) and the Association Hasnouna support drug users sound the alarm.

While the United Nations Organization against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that there were 585,000 overdose deaths worldwide in 2017, the three associations deplore the lack of data on the number of overdoses in the world. Deaths linked to overdoses in Morocco, "while data from the field show that this number is not negligible in the northern regions," they write in a statement.

The group also deplores the lack of access to an antidote drug, Naloxone, at the scene of drug use, while it reduces the mortality related to overdose by 12% if it is administered urgently.

"After the launch of an international consultation by the Department of Epidemiology and Disease Control of the Ministry of Health with the participation of various stakeholders in the subject, some cities in the North have been supplied with antidote drug Naloxone," indicate the three associations. "Nevertheless, the field teams report the difficult access to this antidote in risk reduction centers, since it was deposited and stored in health delegations in several cities," they stress.

In their advocacy, they recommend the development of tools and systems for the collection of data on the causes of overdose deaths, training and sensitization of health staff and community workers about overdoses (diagnosis , prevention and management), and the revision of the Naloxone supply and dispensing system, "for better accessibility and reduction of overdose mortality", they conclude.

According to a report of the Moroccan Observatory of Drugs and Addictions (OMDA) published in 2015, about 800,000 Moroccans are addicted to drugs, or between 4 and 5% of the population over 17 years. 95% of these users (some 750,000 people) are consumers of hashish.

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