Being better informed about pleasure could yield significant benefits for society as a whole, not just those that use drugs. We invest significant time and money in trying to prevent drug-related harm. Many things we do carry a risk like driving a car, but our approach to reducing traffic fatalities is not to ban driving. Instead we educate drivers and try and minimise the risks of driving.
Drug criminalization fuels the United States’ dual crises of mass criminalization and overdose deaths. The Portuguese experience demonstrates that decriminalizing drugs—alongside a serious investment in treatment and harm reduction services—can significantly improve public safety and health.- Widney Brown, managing director of Policy at Drug Policy Alliance
“This is about saving lives. We know people take drugs. We don’t have to condone it but nor should we judge people or bury our heads in the sand. It’s our job to do whatever we can to help people make informed choices about the risks they’re taking.”
Countries that have ended criminal sanctions for possession of drugs have shown they have better health, social and economic outcomes, yet the UK government continues to have an evidence-free approach when it comes to the law around drugs. – Niamh Eastwood
Bold ideas could be what makes the difference.
One of the most important things we can do as advocates is to define & make concrete the vague terms used by politicians. What does it mean to “take a public health approach”? What you mean when you say “treatment”? Politicians rarely know. Our job is to make it plain for them.