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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70641 Find in a Library
Title: What Happens to Fixers? Strategies of Policy
Journal: Kriminologisches Journal  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(1980)  Pages:17-34
Author(s): M Stein-Hilbers
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 18
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: The failure of repressive West German drug policies and alternatives such as therapeutic programs, methadone programs, and decriminalization of heroin use are discussed.
Abstract: In the 1970's drug control has taken the forms of laws making drug possession and purchase illegal and of drug detoxification programs. Criminalizing drug trade has wedded addicts to the criminal subculture and has increased medical risks such as impure drugs. Furthermore, the repressive policy does not seem to have had a deterrent effect or to have reduced drug accessibility. The high relapse rate and general lack of success even for long term therapy are attributed to the nature of efficiency-oriented therapeutic insitutions and to the inability of addicts to do without drugs. Drug control might be more successful if therapy programs were made more attractive to addicts and if contacts were initiated in the street rather than at centers. The introduction off methadone treatment might accomplish these ends, but there is some question as to whether methadone is an attempt to cover up the problem rather than to provide humanistic assistance. Moreover, critics charge that participants in methadone programs are likely to use other drugs together with methadone, which may result in death. Critics also feel that acceptance of methadone treatment means resignation to addiction, but statistics indicate some success of methadone detoxification efforts. Although the heroin market cannot be eliminated by methadone treatment, such therapy may bring more addicts into long term programs and further their social integration. Heroin decriminalization models include non prosecution of drug offenders coupled with limitation of legal access to drugs, prescription of maintenance doses by physicians (either to established addicts or to the public at large), and unrestricted sale of heroin. However, heroin decriminalization is judged inadvisable because of the possibility of increased heroin use and because of the implied rejection of therapeutic efforts. A 42-item bibliography is supplied. --in German.
Index Term(s): Drug abuse; Drug dependence; Drug laws; Drug treatment programs; Failure factors; Heroin maintenance; Methadone detoxification treatment; Methadone maintenance; Policy; Program evaluation
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