The purpose of this paper is to explore the current policy stasis in UK drug policy.
This paper examines reports, statistics and policy statements by government agencies.
Delays in revising a national strategy appear to have no clear explanation. Responses to drugs issues, including drug-related deaths, appear to lack urgency or concern at a policy making level.
Complacency and lack of regard to evidence appear to inform current policy and strategy. Ways of overcoming this stasis are not identified.
There is a need for factors leading to reform and change to be identified and implemented, by government and others.
The situations and needs of drug users do not appear as a government priority. Continued reductions in public spending – austerity – are reducing treatment provision.
The paper attempts to identify factors which inhibit policy reform in the UK so that future reform becomes more realistic.
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