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United Kingdom. Home Office. (2014) Drugs: international comparators. London: Home Office.

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This report describes the findings of the UK Coalition Government’s international comparators study of approaches to drugs misuse and drug addiction. The Government has considered a range of policy and operational responses to drugs in other countries and reviewed the evidence of their impacts, where possible drawing out contrasts and similarities with the Government’s own Drug Strategy.

During 2013 and 2014, ministers and officials from the Home Office took part in fact-finding visits to, and discussions with, eleven countries: Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States of America and Uruguay. Home Office officials also undertook desk-based research on policies in a number of other countries including the Netherlands. Based on what we saw during our fact-finding, and grounded in an understanding of the drugs situation in the UK, we identified a set of themes to focus on – responses to drugs which stood out as particularly innovative, widely discussed, or relevant to the UK situation. We undertook further research and analysis of the evidence base around each of these themes. In this report, we present the outcomes of this work.

1. Executive Summary 4
2. Introduction 7
3. Approach 12
4. Approaches to drugs misuse and drug addiction in other countries 13
4.1 Drug Consumption Rooms 13
4.2 Heroin Assisted Treatment 19
4.3 Dissuasion commissions 22
4.4 Drug courts 25
4.5 Prison-based treatment 29
4.6 Prison-based harm-reduction 34


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