Psychoactive substances are classified and placed under international control in compliance
with three international conventions ratified by the member states of the United Nations.
The purpose of putting these substances under international control is to protect public
health and minimize the diversion and misuse of harmful psychoactive substances. However, it is imperative to find a balance
between the prevention of drug misuse and dependence on the one hand, and the accessibility of essential controlled medicines
on the other.
The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) is mandated by the international drug
control conventions to assess the health risks and potential therapeutic use of psychoactive substances. Depending on the
outcome of this assessment, the ECDD issues recommendations to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna on whether
a substance should be placed under international control or not.