skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 170579 Find in a Library
Title: Emerging Harm Reduction Movement: The De-Escalation of the War on Drugs? (From New War on Drugs: Symbolic Politics and Criminal Justice Policy, P 177-196, 1998, Eric L. Jensen and Jurg Gerber, eds. -- See NCJ-170568)
Author(s): P G Erickson; J Butters
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper proposes a drug policy that is designed to reduce the harms associated with drug use rather than the current policy of prohibition that punishes drug users.
Abstract: The harm-reduction strategy for countering the problems of drug abuse is based in a public health tradition. It reflects pragmatism, humanistic values, a broad focus, a balancing of costs/benefits, and a hierarchy of goals. The goals of harm reduction are to decrease adverse health consequences of drug use without requiring decreased drug use, decrease adverse social consequences of drug use without requiring decreased drug use, and decrease adverse economic consequences of drug use without requiring decreased drug use. Some programs that reflect a harm- reduction strategy are syringe exchange, methadone maintenance, education/outreach, alcohol programs, nicotine programs, prescription drugs, and tolerance areas. The authors present some examples of such programs in the Netherlands, South Australia, and England. The full embrace of harm-reduction initiatives may require, in the long run, the replacement of the dominance of the criminal justice model with explicit public health assumptions and supportive legal controls. There will always be a role for law enforcement in dealing with the broader issues of availability even in a more regulated market. A future goal should be to develop a new system that is consistent with current scientific knowledge and is able to incorporate new scientific findings for effective social control of drugs.
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): England; Foreign laws; Methadone maintenance; Netherlands; South Australia
Note: DCC.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.