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Drug Policy and the Public Good: A Summary of the Second Edition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thomas F Babor, Jonathan Caulkins, Benedikt Fischer, David Foxcroft, María Elena Medina-Mora, Isidore Obot, Jürgen Rehm, Peter Reuter, Robin Room, Ingeborg Rossow, John Strang

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1941-1950
Number of pages10
Issue number11
Early online date11 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

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The second edition of Drug Policy and the Public Good presents up-to-date evidence relating to the development of drug policy at local, national, and international levels. The book explores both illicit drug use and nonmedical use of prescription medications from a public health perspective. The core of the book is a critical review of the scientific evidence in five areas of drug policy: 1) primary prevention programs in schools and other settings; 2) treatment interventions and harm reduction approaches; 3) attempts to control the supply of illicit drugs, including drug interdiction and law enforcement; 4) penal approaches, decriminalization and other alternatives; and 5) control of the legal market through prescription drug regimes. It also discusses the trend toward legalization of some psychoactive substances in some countries and the need for a new approach to drug policy that is evidence-based, realistic, and coordinated. The accumulated evidence provides important information about effective and ineffective policies. Shifting the emphasis toward a public health approach should reduce the extent of illicit drug use, prevent the escalation of new epidemics, and avoid the unintended consequences arising from the marginalization of drug users through severe criminal penalties.

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