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Heroin Addiction and Drug Policy: the British System

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 21 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:200
  1. Nick Heather

    Ed John Strang, Michael Gossop Oxford University Press, £55, pp 355 ISBN 0192620460

    In relation to drug dependence and misuse “the British system” has come specifically to mean the maintenance of injecting drug users on their drug of choice by prescription. More generally it refers to the “medicalisation” of illicit drug use as opposed to control by criminolegal means. Conventional wisdom in the subject has it that after the first world war the drug policies of the United States and Britain sharply diverged, with the United States opting for the road of control by law enforcement, as enshrined in the Harrison Act of 1917, while …

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