Global: Why Harm Reduction ONLY ideologies, Drive Drug Desire!

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UK: No wonder there’s a prison drug crisis when the State is the main pusher

‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it’ — Upton Sinclair

In 2008 I wrote a pamphlet entitled Inside Out: how to get drugs out of prisons which was intended as a wake-up call for prisons and policy-makers. Ten years on, the state of affairs has gone from bad to worse, even descending into anarchy as seen at HMP Birmingham this summer. In fact Prisons Minister Rory Stewart, announcing a £10million crackdown on violence, drugs and phones in the ten worst prisons, has promised to resign in twelve months if assaults do not fall as a result.

I am talking about successive governments’ failed policy of prescribing substitute drugs such as methadone to prisoners rather than stopping their addiction; of the failed supply reduction policy that limits itself to trying to follow the drugs trail through prison, instead of setting out to eliminate the prison’s drug market completely. I am talking about defeatism and a lack of ambition.

It is fourteen years since the NHS took over responsibility for health care in prisons from the prison service. Since then prison drug treatment has come to mirror the methadone treatment the NHS offers in the wider community. What could be described as ‘situationally sensitive’ help for those entering the prison system with a pre-existing drug problem has all but been abandoned, as has secondary (post prison) residential support and rehab for any who managed to sustain abstinence while in prison. Nor is there much sympathy in the community for former offenders who picked up their drug problem ‘inside’.

For complete story: Using Drug Policy to Push Drugs!


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