The Home Office in the UK has published a report on approaches to drug misuse and addiction in other countries. The report concludes an 18-month study of international comparators in drugs policy, announced by the government in March 2013.
As part of the study ministers and officials visited nine countries to see how governments and service providers are responding to the evolving challenges that drugs present, from countries like Portugal and the Czech Republic which have decriminalised possession, to Sweden and Japan which enforce tough ‘zero-tolerance’ laws.
The report looks at a range of policies, including new forms of treatment and harm reduction, alternative approaches to drug-related crime, cannabis legalisation, and decriminalisation of drug possession. It considers the international evidence for the effectiveness of each approach, explores the differing social and political circumstances that have led other countries to adopt them, and reflects on policy and operational responses to drugs in this country. The report also includes an assessment of the drugs situation in the UK.