Why The War on Drugs Is a Huge Failure
The war against drugs has been a terrible disaster for everybody involved. Why? And can we do something differently?
Here is a 6-minute video about the advantages of harm reduction as opposed to the drug war approach.
The core strategy of the war on drugs is: No drugs – no problems!
So almost all of the efforts in the past few decades have been focused on eradicating the supply of drugs incarcerating drug traffickers. But this ignores the most fundamental of market forces – supply and demand. If you reduce the supply of anything without reducing the demand first its price goes up, this might lower sales for many products, but not for drugs. The drug market is not price sensitive, drugs will be consumed no matter what they cost, so the effect is to encourage production of more drugs and recruitment of more traffickers which increases availability. This is also known as the balloon effect (The Balloon Effect explained: http://bit.ly/1SfnP3b).
Many of the problems we associate with drug use are actually caused by the war against them. For example, prohibition makes drugs stronger. The prohibition of drugs has also led to more violence and murders around the world.
Is there actually something different we can do? Is there a way out of this mess?
In the1980s Swiss authorities tried a new strategy – Harm Reduction. The results were a sharp drop in drug related crime and two thirds of the people in the centers (after receiving medical and social care) got jobs, because now they could focus on getting better instead of financing their addiction. Today over 70% of heroine addicts in Switzerland receive treatment , HIV infections have dropped drastically, death from heroin overdoses dropped by 50% and drug related street sex work and crime has been reduces enormously. So there are methods that are not only way cheaper, but though actually work instead of creating more problems.
After 40 years of fighting it’s about time to stop the war on drugs and move on to something better.
Check out the Stop The Harm campaign to find out how you can influence the drug policy: https://stoptheharm.org
Further reading on the drug war:
Nixon on the war on drugs: http://bit.ly/1QRJcZ7
The Economics Behind War on Drugs: http://bit.ly/1VOJiPk
World Drug Report: http://bit.ly/1QY97NU
Global supply of drugs: http://bit.ly/1OLXq6u
Four pillars drug strategy: http://bit.ly/1Qkhh0y
Global Fund Technical Brief: Harm reduction for people who use drugsThis technical brief describes how interventions for people who use drugs are to be incorporated into funding requests to the Global Fund. The Global Fund is the major source of international funding in low- and middle-income countries for harm reduction, and it supports evidence-based interventions aimed at ensuring access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and […] Read more
Letter to Global Fund on the emergency with sustainability of harm reduction in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and RomaniaIn advance of the upcoming 42nd meeting of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) as well as the Global Fund Regional Meeting for Eastern Europe and Central Asia to take place in Istanbul on 26-27 November, 2019, forty two (42) civil society and community organisations and networks […] Read more
Harm Reduction International Joint Briefing on Global Fund Catalytic Investments for Harm ReductionThe Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is the largest donor for harm reduction in low and middle countries (LMICs), providing two-thirds of all international donor support. In May 2019, the Global Fund Board will approve the 2020-2022 allocation methodology and catalytic investment priorities, ahead of replenishment for the Global Fund in October […] Read more
Services for migrants and refugees from Ukraine – HIV/TB care with a focus on key populations
Due to the increasing flows of refugees from Ukraine because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EECA Regional Platform created a spreadsheet to fill contacts details of face-to-face and online services for refugees and migrants (with a focus on HIV/TB care and key population groups).
If you provide such services or know verified providers, please fill out the spreadsheet at your earliest convenience, and, please, update it as more verified information is available. These can be services for national citizens if they are also accessible to international migrants and refugees.
Regional Platform – EECA
This web-resource is a part of new regional communication and coordination project “Regional Civil Society and Community Support, Coordination and Communication Platform - EECA”, implemented by Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA).
Global Fund Community Engagement Toolbox (Updated August 2023) 05.09.2023 14:33