Balance

(also referred to as the Principle of Balance) refers to the dual obligation of governments to establish a system of control to prevent abuse, trafficking, and diversion of narcotic drugs while, at the same time, ensuring their medical availability. Although opioid analgesics are controlled drugs, they also are essential drugs and are indispensable for the relief of pain. Opioids, including those in the therapeutic group of morphine, should be accessible to all patients who need them for relief of pain. Governments must take steps to ensure the adequate availability of opioids for medical and scientific purposes.

  1. International Narcotics Control Board. 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs: Part 1: The International Control System for Narcotic Drugs. Vienna, Austria: International Narcotics Control Board, 2005. (Available at http://www.incb.org/pdf/e/estim/trainmat/NAR_1%20English%202005.pdf).
  2. World Health Organization. Achieving balance in national opioids control policy: Guidelines for assessment. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2000. (Available at http://www.painpolicy.wisc.edu/publicat/00whoabi/00whoabi.htm).
  3. Morgan JP. American opiophobia: Customary underutilization of opioid analgesics. In: Hill CS, Fields WS, eds. Advances in Pain Research and Therapy, Volume 11. vol. 11. New York, NY: Raven Press, 1989:181-189. 
  4. Bennett DS, Carr DB. Opiophobia as a barrier to the treatment of pain. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother 2002;16:105-109.
  5. International Association for the Study of Pain. International Association for the Study of Pain Web site. http://www.iasp-pain.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=General_Resource_Links&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=3058
  6. World Health Organization. National cancer control programmes: policies and managerial guidelines. Second ed. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002. (Available at http://www.who.int/cancer/nccp/nccp/en/).
  7. Controlled Substances Act, 812, Schedules of controlled substances. 
  8. District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District.676 So.2d 1380, June 26, 1996.
  9. World Health Organization. WHO expert committee on drug dependence: thirty-fourth report. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2006. (Available at http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/WHO_TRS_942.pdf)

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