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Future drugs policy: drugs, crime and control


Perhaps one of the most devastating social ills that exist within our society is that of the consumption of drugs. The precise extent to which this problem exists is unknown but what we do know is that it is vast and multi lateral, pulling in many other interrelated issues along with it. Other aspects that can coincide with the problem of drugs are those of crime and control. These are long running controversial issues that have still yet to be tackled successfully. We know that it is a difficult and delicate subject to discuss but contemporary society provides us with clues about how we may go about handling it. What we have to realise is that old characteristics and stereotypes of drug users that may have informed us in the past have changed and the use of drugs is more widespread and recreational and somewhat fashionable than in times gone past. The problem that faces us, if being realistic probably can't be solved in one simple solution if at all. This makes it all the more important to concentrate on particular areas in order for the most damaging aspects of drug use to become less prevalent. For this to happen the context of drug use and their users have to be understood in certain terms. This being the definitions of what we consider a drug user and a drug abuser or one being addicted and dependant on drugs. If we are to be brutally honest with ourselves there needs to be a harsh line drawn between the people who use drugs casually and those whose lives are being ruined by the drug in question. That is the first major issue we have to deal with, the second is the necessity to understand which drugs are harmful to our society and what laws can be introduced to combat it and what methods have failed in the past. So there are two issues at hand in this debate, the harm that is done to the lives and families of the drug user (personal rehabilitation) and the harm that is done to society as a whole (appropriate punishing and deterring of future activity).   The following points will examine what should be the focus of an unbiased and rational strategy to tackle the consumption of drugs.


In conclusion we should look at some of the views that can be implemented with our drugs strategy and the problems that each one may face. Whilst there is sensible evidence to suggest the legalisation of heroin in order to control it there is no saying that black market heroin will totally disappear, in fact it may even become cheaper and dirtier. If this was to happen then greater emphasis should be placed on tackling drug trafficking something that Dorn (1992) tells us that police and border control have increasingly difficulty in doing. With all the recommendations that have been previously outlined we also have to bear in mind the scale of the issue on question. According to Strang (2005.p2) there are an estimated 250,000 heroin users in the U.K alone. According to this figure may be as high as 281,000 in England without including the other countries in the U.K. This goes to show the enormity of the task at hand. We have to admit that this is an issue that may not ever be resolved but if there is dedicated manpower allocated to the people who need it most and there is appropriate punitive methods that not only contain the offender but also try and rehabilitate them in order to re-enter in to society as a better person then we are making positive progress. If we concentrate our strategy on the youth of today and get them interested in sports, sciences and just general activities then that would be the biggest blessing any society could ask for.

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