12:30 01 October 2013
Based on a study published in the British Medical Journal Open, the war on illegal drugs is failing.
The report studied information from seven international government-funded surveillance systems and found that efforts to solve the problem involving illegal drugs aren’t working as hoped.
Moreover, the researchers claim that drug use shouldn’t be criminal justice issue anymore but rather public health issue as the problem is so widespread.
The report found that between 1990 and 2010, street prices of drugs had fallen however, their potency and purity have increased. In Europe, the average price of cocaine and opiates decreased by 74per cent and 51per cent between 1990 and 2010. The report also found that the size of cannabis, heroin, and cocaine seized by government authorities have increased since 1990.
The report’s conclusion reads: "These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing."
Co-author Dr Evan Wood, scientific chairman of the centre, said: "We should look to implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.
"With the recognition that efforts to reduce drug supply are unlikely to be successful, there is a clear need to scale up addiction treatment and other strategies that can effectively reduce drug-related harm."