OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT OF DRUG POLICIES AND THEIR IMPACT
ANALYSIS OF UK DRUG POLICY was released on April 18, 2007, by the UK Drug Policy Commission. The full report and executive summary are available at: http://www.ukdrugpolicycommission.org.uk/reports.shtml.
Some data from the executive summary:
* the number of "dependent heroin users" in UK estimated at 5,000 in 1975, today 281,000;
* between 1998 and 2004/5 "Government has successfully increased the number of drug dependent users entering treatment . . . .from 85,000 in 1998 to 181,000 in 2004/5 [leading to] ... substantial reductions in drug use, crime and health problems...";
* "the majority of this treatment involves the prescription of heroin substitution drugs (mostly methadone)";
* more than half of the estimated problem drug users are now in contact with structured treatment each year;
The report is important not only in what it tells us about the response to the drug problem in UK; it also raises questions about what comparable data exist elsewhere that would permit an objective assessment of drug polices and their impact. For instance, is there in the US at national or state levels information on the extent to which "Government has successfully increased" enrollment in addiction treatment in recent years, and the proportion of "problem drug users [that] are now in contact with structured treatment each year"?
Anyone know of efforts currently under way to obtain such data?
Not rhetorical questions - would welcome posting of comments/responses.