The Phenomenon of Drugs constitutes a worrisome problem in the world today and requires serious study and action. Narcotics continue to “rage in impressive forms and dimensions”. It is a phenomenon that is fuelled – not without concessions and compromises on the part of institutions – by “a shameful market that crosses national and continental borders”, intertwined with organized crime groups and drug trafficking. Pope Francis has on several occasions emphasized that the scourge of drug-trafficking, which favours violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society an act of courage.
In an effort to contribute to the understanding of and the search for appropriate responses to the deadly phenomenon, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development organised an International Conference around the theme “Drugs and Addictions: an Obstacle to Integral Human Development.”
The Conference, was held in the Vatican on November 29, 30 and 1 December 2018 and brought together experts from around the world, interested international organisations, specialists from the local Churches and those in charge of rehabilitation centres to explore the complex areas of drug use and supply, as well as other addictions, learning from the different experiences or best practices, in prevention, suppression, treatment and rehabilitation.
The Conference has,among other things, focused on efforts and examples of prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration that lead people to discover their proper dignity both as human beings and as members of the one family of the children of God, which is essential for the promotion of an authentic or integral development.
 Cf. Pontifical Council for Helath Care Workers, New Charter for Health Care Workers, nn. 123-124.
 Pope Francis, Address to participants in the 31st Drug Enforcement Conference, 20 June 2014.