Drugs legislation

European drug policies or drug policies in Europe?

Authored by: Krzysztof Krajewski

The Routledge Handbook of European Criminology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415685849
eBook ISBN: 9780203083505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136185496


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The most commonly assumed task of policies implemented in the area of illicit psychoactive drugs is to limit or eliminate the negative consequences of their use. Various strategies are pursued to do this. One option is simply to reduce use and thus the associated harms (use reduction). The second option is not necessarily to reduce use but the harms associated with it (harm reduction). Strategies of use reduction – discouraging people from starting drug careers, or encouraging them to stop – are currently more prevalent, but harm reduction strategies have acquired growing importance.

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