General Article War on drugs failing: decriminalise possession says UK committee

Topic Selected: Drugs Book Volume: 373

The Health Committee has said the UK’s war on drugs is failing as drug related deaths are now a public emergency.

By Stephanie Price

In a call for radical change to UK drugs policy the Health Committee of MPs has said the UK war on drugs is failing and has recommended decriminalising drug possession for personal use.

This year the UK saw its highest ever levels of drug related deaths – making the UK the country with the highest number in Europe, three times higher than the average. Deaths in England rose to 2,670 in 2018; an increase of 16% since 2017. The majority of these deaths were opiate related.

The committee also recommends increasing the funding available as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that heroin assisted treatment, naloxone, and needle and syringe programmes are available.

UK war on drugs failing

The report acknowledges the UK’s failing war on drugs – noting that the Modern Crime Prevention Strategy states that offenders who regularly use heroin, cocaine and cra...

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