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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article sets out an analytical framework for thinking about drug use and abuse and about drug policy. It summarizes current knowledge about patterns of drug use and patterns of drug-related harm. It presents an overview of policy responses to drug abuse and trafficking, which includes interdiction and source-country programs, arrest and imprisonment, treatment, and prevention. This article discusses a range of programs and offers a number of proposals—centering on the need to investigate not only the prevalence of drug use but also quantities consumed and harms associated with both drug use and drug policy strategies—for increasing our understanding of current patterns of drug use and of effects of drug policy. It concludes with two trends that have the potential to challenge current cultural assumptions about drugs and drug control.

Keywords: drug abuse, drug policy, treatment, prevention, drug control

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