As the drugs policy debate gains momentum ahead of UNGASS 2016, many different perspectives are being put forward. This weekend the Guardian newspaper examined British attitudes to drugs in their ‘Drugs Uncovered’ series. The cornerstone of the series was the British Drugs Survey 2014. The survey revealed that the proportion of the population that have taken drugs has increased over time. However, relatively few are regular drug takers, as drug use diminishes with age, and problematic drug use is low – 13% of drug users.
Other articles revealed particular attitudes to drugs, from a user’s perspective on cocaine, MDMA and ecstasy to the rise of the dark net as a drugs marketplace. Given the increased and much more diverse pattern of drug use, many people now think the ‘war on drugs’ has failed. This perspective is the driving force behind UNGASS.