I argue that the social context is much overlooked in drug dependence, and in this paper I illustrates how problem drug use is to a large extent a social problem, exacerbated by criminalisation, exclusion, stigma and discrimination.
This paper offers an overview of drug treatment courts as a way to reduce drug-related incarceration.
In spite of good intentions, these courts do not represent reform if they undermine health and human rights, if they put health decisions in the hands of judges and prosecutors who reject clinically indicated treatment, or if they impose punishment for relapses that are a normal part of drug dependence.
Julian Buchanan's insight:
A prohibitionists attempt at treating the 'diseased addict'
Across Latin America the effects of disproportionate punishment for low-level, non-violent drug offenses are particularly severe for women. To shed light on this issue, WOLA has created a photo essay to show the human cost of current drug policies in the Americas
Globally, there are a growing number of countries, agencies and individuals exploring drug law reform, albeit, largely related to cannabis. These are critical and important times, but after the debacle of prohibition, we should be careful not to get over-excited and simply lurch uncritically towards any reform that’s proposed. We need to be rigorous and well informed when considering and assessing appropriate drug policy change, otherwise we will fail to address the fundamental problem – the decades of damage caused by drug policy abuse. In this paper I shall clarify why drug law reform change is urgently needed, explore lessons from drug policy changes in other countries, highlight risks inherent within drug reform, and establish some guiding principles for change.
Julian Buchanan's insight:
If you want to hear the podcast (and see the Prezi) from the 11th Annual Community Justice Public Lecture that this paper was based upon click on the link below. The audio will begin automatically once you move on to the next slide:
This briefing is a preliminary sketch of the legal landscape for cannabis social clubs in Spain. Its author is presently conducting legal analysis and empirical research in Spain and her findings will be published in due course.
Julian Buchanan's insight:
An insight into the Cannabis social clubs in Spain (in English)
Excellent video - highlights the dreadful problems caused by stigma, drug prohibition and abstinence, that illustrates why we desperately need a campaign to get our drug policies under control.
Most of this damage is caused by drug policy and not drugs - so it’s not so much the danger of drugs and the need to get them under control, (it would be misleading and misguided to perceive drugs as the cause of this damage), but the danger of prohibitionist & abstinence driven drug policy and the need to get policy under control so it stops destroying lives, families, communities and nations.
If Jake could buy clean legal drugs from a chemist or a progressive Drug Consumption Room that also prescribed and dispensed clean drugs,, if he, family friends could carry naloxone, if he didn’t have to keep everything a secret for fear of the police and stigma and rejection from others, if he could be prescribed clean maintenance drugs via his GP, if abstinence ’treatment' and being ‘clean’ hadn’t made him feel 'dirty' etc. etc. then without all this drug policy junk - maybe Jake would be alive today?
Diabetes currently affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In America alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that number to be approximately 20 million. Potential cures and methods to reverse the disease are showing some promising results, and one of them is a chemical that’s commonly found in a number of plants […]
Background: Women and girls who use and inject drugs are a critical population at risk of HIV. In this article, we review data on the epidemiology of drug use and injection among women globally and HIV prevalence among women and girls who use and inject drugs. Results: Women and girls comprise o...
He sees himself as being as worthless as society assumes him to be. My son calls himself a junkie and I cringe. And why do I do that, when that is how he self identifies? Because he has internalized the stigma that we have assigned to his disease. Because the image that the term “junkie” …
“The gay rights movement is succeeding because gay people stopped apologizing for who they are,” says Shilo Murphy, the founding member of the USU’s Seattle chapter. “Nothing will change until people stand proud to be drug users.”
Is the War on Drugs doing more harm than good? In a bold talk, drug policy reformist Ethan Nadelmann makes an impassioned plea to end the "backward, heartless, disastrous" movement to stamp out the drug trade. He gives two big reasons we should focus on intelligent regulation instead.
Causal inferences from case–control studies are always hazardous, particularly with poor matching and incomplete specification and imprecise measurement of possible confounds. The unwanted influence of relevant group differences, whether measured or left unmeasured, might only be compounded by brute application of statistical controls. Awareness of the obvious political and policy implications of results, and the likely misuse to which they could be put, apparently failed to discourage the authors from inappropriate causal inferences and ignoring of obvious limitations of their study. This failure can only serve to distract readers from the important message concerning the need for a distinction between higher and lower potency forms of cannabis, even if it should be made with greater precision and in the context of a prospective study.
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