Journal Article

Drug policy and the public good: A summary of the second edition


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.

Attached files


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

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-06-27

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Drug policy and the public good: A summary of the second edition


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