Intended for healthcare professionals


Drug use: more enforcement is unlikely to be the answer to rising harms, review finds

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 27 February 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m802

Linked Opinion

“They talk, we die”—the continuing paralysis of UK drug policy

  1. Richard Hurley
  1. The BMJ

Deaths from drugs in the UK are at an all time high, the market is increasingly violent, and drugs cost society £19bn (€22.3bn; $24.5bn) a year—more than double the worth of the market—an independent review has found.1

Some drugs are more available than takeaway pizza, said Carol Black, former president of the Royal College of Physicians, who conducted the review. She was speaking at a drug summit convened by the UK government in Glasgow on 27 February.

The UK faces a “perfect storm” of increasing supply, availability, and purity of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and cannabis, coupled with reduced protections for vulnerable people, including 20% cuts …

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