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Drug Policy and the Public Good$
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Thomas Babor, Jonathan Caulkins, Benedikt Fischer, David Foxcroft, Keith Humphreys, María Elena Medina-Mora, Isidore Obot, Jürgen Rehm, Peter Reuter, Robin Room, Ingeborg Rossow, and John Strang

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198818014

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198818014.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 November 2020

Summary and conclusions

Summary and conclusions

(p.273) Chapter 16 Summary and conclusions
Drug Policy and the Public Good

Thomas F. Babor

Jonathan Caulkins

Benedikt Fischer

David Foxcroft

Keith Humphreys

María Elena Medina-Mora

Isidore Obot

Jürgen Rehm

Peter Reuter

Robin Room

Ingeborg Rossow

John Strang

Oxford University Press

Among the 47 options reviewed in this book, most show some evidence of effectiveness in at least one country, but the evidence is less than definitive for many others, either because the interventions are ineffective, or the research is inadequate. Unfortunately, policies that have shown little or no evidence of effectiveness continue to be the preferred options of many countries and international organizations. The evidence reviewed in this book supports two overarching conclusions. First, an integrated and balanced approach to evidence-informed drug policy is more likely to benefit the public good than uncoordinated efforts to reduce drug supply and demand. Second, by shifting the emphasis toward a public health approach, it may be possible to 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.

Keywords:   drug policy, prevention, legalization, public health, illicit drugs, opioid analgesics, heroin, cannabis, supply control, treatment

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