In 2003, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing injected diacetylmorphine and oral methadone was carried out in Andalusia, Spain. The subsequent follow-up study evaluated the health and drug use status of participants, 2 years after the completion of the trial. This follow-up cohort study was carried out between March and August 2006. Data collected included information on socio-demographics, drug use, health and health-related quality of life. Patients who received HAT showed better outcomes compared with those not on HAT. The results of this study strengthen the evidence showing that HAT can improve and stabilise the health of long-term heroin users with severe comorbidities and high mortality.
Long known for a liberal policy on drugs, the Czech Republic is now officially quantifying its status as one of European Union's most lenient member states when it comes to decriminalizing drug possession. But these new guidelines come among signs that the rest of Czech drug policy is not keeping pace with other EU members and contradicts law enforcement tactics being utilized to tackle alcohol abuse.
The drugs problem in Colombia is intertwined with structural factors at the social, economic, institutional and cultural levels. Moreover, its relationship to the armed conflict has had serious consequences for the socio-economic conditions of peasant and indigenous communities affected by the production of raw materials used to produce cocaine.
The seventh meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogue (IDPD) series, a joint initiative of the Andreas Papandreou Foundation and the Transnational Institute, took place from 10-12 December in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, entrust the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the responsibility of assessing substances for abuse liability in order to make recommendations on their control under the two aforementioned Conventions.
The classification of drugs has a profound impact on the lives and well-being of individuals across the world and where the classification is incorrect, people suffer unnecessarily. This is an issue that deserves greater public awareness and greater engagement with citizenry and that where such public awareness is in place it should be galvanised in order to work towards a new democratic answer to this difficult situation.
The seventh meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogue series, a joint initiative of the Andreas Papandreou Foundation and the Transnational Institute was co-hosted by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The two-day dialogue focused on several themes: law enforcement, human rights and proportionality of sentences; the classification of controlled substances; current developments of the Dutch drugs policy; and various UN-level drug policy developments and preparations for the upcoming CND.
Afghanistan remains the world’s largest producer of opium and has an under-reported but growing heroin-use problem. Current drug control policies in Afghanistan are unrealistic, reflecting a need for immediate signs of hope rather than a serious analysis of the underlying causes and an effort to achieve long-term solutions.
The TNI Drug Law Reform Project promotes more effective and humane drug policies through dialogue and up-to-date analysis of developments in the region.The project was created amidst growing evidence that the decades long “War on Drugs” has failed. Current international drug control policies have not decreased drug consumption, curbed the planting of crops destined for the illicit market, or curtailed the expanding drug trade. Instead, they have marginalized drug users who are pushed out of reach of treatment programs, repressed farmers who may have no other means of survival, and overwhelmed criminal justice systems. Such policies have targeted users and small-scale traffickers, while large-scale criminal organizations have remained unrestrained.
Polish law provides punishment for possession of narcotic drugs. It is a controversial issue whether punishing for possession of any amount of drugs is a right thing to do. Regardless of one’s opinion, it is worth being aware of the consequences of the adopted legal solutions. In spite of the high cost, the enforcement of the Act does not result in mitigating drug problems in Poland, such as reduction of drug trafficking or “deterring” their potential users.
The security threat has made the operations of international agencies in Afghanistan more costly, but it is also one of the few booming sectors providing much needed jobs to some and lucrative profits to others. TNI staff report from Afghanistan.