Document detail

Tracy Pugh, Julie Netherland, Ruth Finkelstein (2013)   C2

"Some of the problems with our current drug policies stem from the fact that these policies have been largely bifurcated between two different and often contradictory approaches. One treats drug use as a crime that cannot be tolerated and should be punished; the other views addiction as a chronic relapsing health or behavioral condition requiring ongoing treatment and support. Neither of these views is all encompassing—it should be recognized that there are patterns of drug use that do not result in significant harm or health problems and therefore require no intervention. The public health approach presented here takes the view that our focus should be on the harm caused by drug use and the harm caused by our policy responses to it. We have focused specifically on illicit drugs, not because they are by themselves more harmful (in fact, tobacco causes more morbidity and mortality than any illicit drug), but because it has become increasingly clear that our current policies to manage illicit drugs are failing."

drug policy,  public health,  blueprint,  substance use,  substance abuse,  substance abuse disorders,