Drug Addiction and Drug Policy: The Struggle to Control by Philip B. Heymann, William N. Brownsberger, David Boyum,

By Philip B. Heymann, William N. Brownsberger, David Boyum, Jonathan Caulkins, Gene M. Heyman, Mark Kleiman, Mark H. Moore, Peter Reuter, Sally Satel, George E. Vaillant

This ebook is the end result of 5 years of impassioned conversations between uncommon students in legislations, public coverage, medication, and biopsychology, in regards to the such a lot tricky questions in drug coverage and the research of addictions. As those intensely argued chapters express, the most obvious solutions are continuously fascinating yet usually mistaken. Do drug addicts have an sickness, or is their dependancy lower than their keep watch over? should still they be handled as sufferers, or as criminals? not easy the normal knowledge in either the psychiatric group and the enforcement group, the authors express the falsity of those normal dichotomies. They argue that the genuine query is how coercion and aid can be utilized jointly to lead addicts towards effective existence. Written in transparent and forceful language, with out ideological blinkers and with shut awareness to empirical information, this ebook has anything to educate either beginner and specialist within the fields of drug habit and drug coverage. The authors' resistance to sloganeering from correct or left will elevate the standard of public dialogue of a posh factor, and give a contribution to the administration of 1 of the main painful and enduring difficulties of yank society.

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Alternatively, these changes, operating on particular segments of the population, could affect the shape and the skew of the distribution, increasing or decreasing the difference between the median propensity to consume drugs and the propensity at the right tail of the distribution. Obviously, if the underlying propensities to use drugs changed and everything else in this model remained constant, one would expect the patterns of drug use and the adverse consequences to change as well. ” For example, if some kind of medication could be administered that would make people permanently resistant to the addictive powers of psychoactive drugs, that would constitute a primary preventive capability for drug use broadly analogous to the primary preventive impact produced by the Salk vaccine on polio.

A society largely committed to “zero tolerance” may succeed in discouraging drug use among many; but for those who use drugs despite the intolerance, the consequences will be much worse. Their drug use will result in social disapprobation, loss of employment, and so on. Such sanctions may, in the long run, help the committed users abandon their drug use through the mechanism of specific deterrence. Or they may simply inflict a loss on the drug users and the rest of us without producing any real deterrent effects.

Viewed from this perspective, the supplyreduction efforts may have produced some beneficial results even as the cocaine epidemic was spreading. But they were simply not enough to stem the tide. Drug Epidemics, Supply Reduction, and Drug Law Enforcement As noted above, whether one considers policies focused on supply reduction and drug law enforcement effective preventive instruments depends a great deal on one’s assumptions about whether they can be effective in standing in the way of underlying propensities to use drugs expressing themselves in actual drug use.

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