Programme participants join in during capoeira lessons in Sao Paulo’s so-called ‘Cracolandia’.
Sebastian Liste/Noor for the Open Society Foundations
A public health programme respected locally, lauded globally, and based on the best science for helping homeless crack users, is at risk of falling victim to Brazil's partisan politics.
We’ve long heard we can’t blame people for their addiction because it’s a disease, but is it?
Some think labelling it a disease is a helpful way to think about addiction; others think this makes the addict helpless in their fight against addiction. Two academics debate both sides of the coin.
Suboxone is often prescribed as a treatment for those addicted to opioids, but only doctors with a certain waiver may prescribe it.
The FDA just approved a new implant of a drug that treats opioid addiction. Why hasn't the drug been prescribed more widely already?
Is addiction a brain disease or a disease of choice?
Addiction definition image via www.shutterstock.com.
What exactly is addiction? What role, if any, does choice play? And if addiction involves choice, how can we call it a "brain disease," with its implications of involuntariness?
It’s not just power-hungry pot farms: the connection between drugs and oil and gas industry runs deep.
It's not just energy-hungry pot farms: the ties between energy and drugs run deep. Can we develop a national drug policy drawing on the lessons of the domestic oil and gas boom?
Concerns have been raised about the potential to abuse and become addicted to pharmaceutical opiates.
We don't know enough about the people who use painkillers non-medically to make the judgement that there is a natural transition from legal to illicit drug use.
What’s in the bag?
Changing drugs laws can have some very unexpected consequences.
A nurse treats Johnny at Vancouver’s Crosstown Clinic before he self-injects his medication.
© Aaron Goodman
Hoping to avoid the pitfalls and tropes of drug genre photography, documentary photographer Aaron Goodman spent a year following three addicts enrolled in a heroin-assisted treatment program.
Pre-WWI Bayer heroin bottle, originally containing 5g of heroin.
Be careful: many of us have tried at least two of them.
While Sydney’s medically supervised injecting centre has had positive results, we need drug consumption rooms all over the country.
With use of drugs such as ice on the rise, drug consumption rooms are now being set up in Europe to provide supervised inhalation.
A man injects himself with heroin using a needle obtained from the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, the nation’s largest needle-exchange program, in Seattle, Washington.
Why have the demographics of heroin use changed so much? For that, we can look to dramatic increase in prescriptions for opioid painkillers, such as Oxycontin or Vicodin.
Iran burns drugs in an annual ritual – but levels of use remain high.
Penalties for drug traffickers in Iran are harsh but it also has progressive policies for addicts. Is it time to go further?
Stigma doesn’t help.
Man on stairs via www.shutterstock.com.
Stigma toward heroin use might prevent a lot of people from using the drug, but these attitudes don't help people who are dependent.
Addiction isn’t just about how much of a drug you take. It’s also about how you take it.
Drugs via www.shutterstock.com.
The way you take a drug affects how much of it gets to your brain, and how rapidly drug levels rise and fall.
Grasping for a solution.
There's a worrying lack of evidence for what works when it comes to drug treatment. And our addiction services are suffering as a result.
Safe injection facilities (SIFs) offer clean syringes, bandages and antiseptics to drug users. SIFs reduce overdose deaths and limit the spread of disease.
Not only can they improve public health and decrease treatment costs, but they can also address one of the root causes of addiction: loneliness.
What worked for you doesn’t work for everyone.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Russell Brand, that radical left-winger and advocate of revolution, and Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative secretary of state for work and pensions, didn’t have anything…
Easier access to marijuana doesn’t necessarily lead to more addicts.
Image of person smoking via Stanimir G.Stoev/Shutterstock
At present, cannabis is fully legalized in Colorado and Washington and will soon be fully legalized in Oregon and Alaska. Additionally, medical cannabis is legal in 23 states. The writing is on the wall…
Some people are more vulnerable.
Chicago Public Media
Drug use is common, drug addiction is rare. About one adult in three will use an illegal drug in their lifetime and just under 3m people will do so this year in England and Wales alone. Most will suffer…
Britain’s heroin habit isn’t what it was.
Marcos Mesa, Sam Wordley via Shutterstock
On all sides, our politicians and commentators seem convinced Britain’s drug policy has been a failure. Party conference season saw Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg rehash his old refrain that we’ve…