Medical News & Perspectives
August 1, 2012

WHO Documents Worldwide Need for Better Drug Abuse Treatment—and Access to It

JAMA. 2012;308(5):442-443. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.8882

Drug use disorders remain a prevalent problem globally, yet most countries do not offer evidence-based treatment for these disorders, according to a new database set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) to track the availability of services to prevent and treat substance use disorders.

The WHO created the database as part of its effort to expand access to treatment for patients with these disorders ( The database contains information on 147 countries—accounting for 88% of the world's population—that have been assessed by the WHO.

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