Drug policy

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In its ‘war on drugs’, Indonesia’s narcotics agency targets not only drug producers, dealers and couriers – but also users. shutterstock

Indonesia’s ‘war on drugs’ may bring health crisis

In tackling the problem of drug abuse, Indonesia should change its criminalisation and punitive approach into a public health one.
Indonesia is forcing people with drug dependence problems to go into rehab. joloei/www.shutterstock.com

Forced rehabilitation of drug users in Indonesia not a solution

Indonesia's war on drugs aims to protect the country's young generation from an alleged "national drug emergency." But the government's coercive approach is harming the people it wishes to protect.
Safe injection facilities (SIFs) offer clean syringes, bandages and antiseptics to drug users. SIFs reduce overdose deaths and limit the spread of disease. Andy Clark/Reuters

Safe injection facilities: more than just a place to shoot drugs

Not only can they improve public health and decrease treatment costs, but they can also address one of the root causes of addiction: loneliness.
In states like Massachusetts, heroin overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years. vidguten/Shutterstock

Can medical marijuana curb the heroin epidemic?

In the 1930s, Harry J. Anslinger, the first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, embarked on a fierce anti-marijuana campaign. Highlighted by the 1936 anti-marijuana film Reefer Madness – where marijuana…
Housing First is a program that offers housing to homeless drug users – regardless of whether or not they’re drug free – with a goal of social recovery. Bryan Guilas/Flickr

Being drug free shouldn’t be a requirement to receive housing

Over the past decade, drug use in the US has risen dramatically, with heroin use reaching epidemic proportions. The country’s policy for combating abuse has involved incarceration, abstinence-only treatment…
Britain’s heroin habit isn’t what it was. Marcos Mesa, Sam Wordley via Shutterstock

Drug policy is working – why do we prefer to think otherwise?

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…
The home-baked illicit drug krokodil first emerged in provincial Russia during the early 2000s. Dorin Popa/Flickr

The rise and fall of Russia’s ‘flesh-eating drug’ krokodil

Reports of a “flesh-eating zombie drug” called krokodil, accompanied by lurid images first appeared in English during 2010. The drug serves as an excellent illustration of the havoc bad drug policies can…
Most of the world continues with a criminal justice approach to drug use despite ample evidence of its harmfulness. Jason Verwey/Flickr

What works best in the war on drugs

In 1967, the Beatles took out a full-page advertisement in The Times describing Britain’s marijuana laws as “immoral in principle and unworkable in practice”. Almost half a century later, both past and…
‘I’m not so much anti-establishment as pointing out the obvious.’ Imperial College London/Layton Thompson

David Nutt: ‘I was sacked, I was angry, I was right’

The John Maddox Prize for standing up for science is awarded to individuals who are judged to have “promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest” and especially those who have faced…

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