Drug abuse should be seen as health problem not crime

Drug addiction should be treated as a chronic health condition and a social problem not simply a crime and a cause of crime, a study published yesterday has said.

The two-year inquiry, by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy, calls for a “radical rethink” on drugs policy, ahead of a government review of the National Drug Strategy in 2008.

The RSA’s Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy says that the current policy is doing little to lessen the impact of drugs on society and calls for a new approach which has reducing harm as its primary aim.

Other recommendations include for drug users to be treated in the same way as other people with chronic diseases and have better access to a range of treatment options, including heroin prescribing where appropriate.

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Information on substance misuse (drugs and alcohol)


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