Intended for healthcare professionals


Illicit drug use should not be a crime, says Royal College of Physicians

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 25 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1832
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. The BMJ

The Royal College of Physicians of London has joined calls for an end to criminal sanctions against people who take drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and cannabis for non-medical reasons.

The college now endorses the stance of the Faculty of Public Health and the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). In a 2016 report1 the RSPH concluded that the “war on drugs” fails to deter drug misuse but instead deters people with drug use disorders from seeking treatment and inhibits harm reduction efforts.

Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), told The BMJ, “The criminal justice system is not the place to address the often complex needs of people addicted to drugs. We are committed to ensuring that all …

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