Topic: Opioid Crisis
Delegate Name: Maya Juratli
Opioid overdoses are the leading cause of drug-related death and one of the leading drug use disorders. Types of opioid/opiates include oxycodone, vicodin, morphine, fentanyl, and heroin.
Many people initially make contact with opioids as a prescription following moderate to severe pain. However, as a highly addictive drug, many users can become severely dependent on Opiates and experience serious cases of withdrawal when they lose access to it. Some users become so dependent that when their prescription is no longer filled, they resort to illegal measures to obtain the drug. This is doubly harmful because alongside the risks that come with illegal drug usage, there is also the risk of contamination due to unmonitored production and distribution.
Globally, over 120,000 deaths occur due to opioid misuse. These deaths can result from overdoses, diseases contracted from used needles, and other drug-related diseases
The worldwide leading producer of cannabis, Morocco has not had a significant problem concerning opioid usage. In fact, Morocco has recently lifted legal barriers concerning opioid access in order to increase the quality of palliative care for Moroccans with chronic illnesses. One of these barriers was changing a law in 2013 to increase the number of weeks a prescription for an opioid analgesic can cover from 1 week to 4. These laws are still more restrictive than the United Nation’s drug conventions but are easing with time.
Although the use of opioid analgesics is increasing in Morocco, there is still a major gap in the treatment of pain. The Human Rights Watch found that Opioid analgesics remain largely unavailable outside health facilities. Although the laws have changed, few steps have been taken to counter physicians’ fears about these medicines. As a result, tens of thousands of Moroccans with chronic illnesses undergo much suffering.
Morocco is interested in preventing the manufacture and spread of the opioid epidemic and ensuring that their usage is limited to those in absolute need and with proper allocation.