WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence – WHO Technical Report Series, No. 808 - Twenty-seventh Report (Russian Version)
(1991; 30 pages) [English]


Records the recommendations of a committee commissioned to assess data on selected psychoactive substances and issue advice on the need for their control under existing international treaties. Recommendations for control balance data on the therapeutic utility of a drug against experimental evidence of its abuse potential and direct evidence of actual cases of abuse and reports of illicit traffic. The report opens with an evaluation of data on 34 benzodiazepines, currently controlled under the international treaties, with the aim of determining whether some of these substances should be considered for rescheduling. On the basis of trends in the pattern of abuse and reports of illicit traffic, the report concludes that 19 of these substances are appropriately controlled, and that a further 13 should be monitored continuously so as to determine whether critical review to consider their possible descheduling would be required. Of all the benzodiazepines reviewed, diazepam and flunitrazepam were singled out as showing a continuing higher incidence of abuse and association with illicit activities. The report also assesses three additional benzodiazepines (brotizolam, etizolam, and quazepam), concluding that none of these substances would require international control at this stage. Propylhexedrine, which is used in an inhalant form for nasal decongestion, is evaluated in the second section. Noting that the incidence of abuse and illicit trafficking remains very low, the report concludes that propylhexedrine should be removed from international control. The third section considers data on dronabinol, a drug used in the management of nausea and vomiting induced by cancer chemotherapy. Dronabinol is a stereochemical variant of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active principle of cannabis. The likelihood of abuse of dronabinol was judged to be substantially lower than that of cannabis. On the basis of these considerations, the report recommends that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and its stereochemical variants be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971. A final section discusses 111 preparations exempted by the Government of the United States of America from certain control measures. Particular concern centres on the exemption of 55 preparations containing butalbital from export declarations. In view of possible abuse problems arising from exportation to another country, the book concludes that the exemption of these 55 preparations from export declarations should be terminated...

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