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NCJ Number: 154172 Find in a Library
Title: Medical and Health Perspectives on a Failing US Drug Policy
Journal: Daedalus  Volume:121  Issue:3  Dated:(1992)  Pages:165-194
Author(s): D C Lewis
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 30
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the United States drug policy emphasizes the deleterious juxtaposition of medicine and law enforcement and proposes a more realistic and humane concept of drug policy development.
Abstract: The current war on drugs has become a public moral crusade and law enforcement extravaganza that separates a rigid public policy from the urgently needed ideas and insights of medical and public health professionals who have spent lifetimes studying the nature, causes, and consequences of addiction. Currently, good medical care for illegal drug users and addicts is virtually unobtainable, and patients who have never used illegal drugs are routinely denied adequate medication for pain from surgical procedures, AIDS, cancer, and other diseases, usually because physicians fear they could become addicts. In addition, although little direct causation appears to exist between drug effects and violence, extensive violence is related to crimes committed to secure money to buy drugs and as a result of disputes among drug dealers. The current policy is inappropriate and creates a punitive social atmosphere. A workable drug policy should aim to reduce harm, increase safety, provide care for those who need it, and achieve a balance between formal and informal drug control by fostering the social atmosphere where informal controls are used to the limit of their effectiveness. Medicine should be involved in the national drug policy debate, and gradual decriminalization of drug use should take place. Figures and reference notes
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Medicolegal considerations; Research uses in policymaking
Note: DCC
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