Intended for healthcare professionals


Dilemmas and choices in facing the drugs problem

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:885

“Being truthful about drugs … must remain the foundation of drug policy”

  1. Anthony Pelosi, consultant psychiatrist
  1. Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride G75 8RG

    This week the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and Physicians, with help from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, have published a most important book on national and international problems caused by the use of illegal drugs.1 Targeted at general readers, Drugs: Dilemmas and Choices aims to stimulate a long overdue rational debate on illegal drugs rather than come up with any solutions. But its authors have not shied away from making firm recommendations on law enforcement policies, treatment, and education.

    The working party that wrote the book included doctors from several specialties along with a lawyer, a sociologist, a teacher, and the chief executive of the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse. They consulted a wide range of experts and met members of the independent inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act, which was set up by the Police Foundation and also reported this week (recommending more emphasis on the health aspects of drugs.2 It is perhaps this multidisciplinary approach that has led to such a comprehensive and academically rigorous text.

    The authors are clearly concerned that they will be …

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