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Rolles, Steve and Murkin, George and Powell, Martin and Kushlick, Danny and Saunter, Nicky and Slater, Jane (2016) Alternative world drug report. United Kingdom: Count the Costs of the War on Drug.

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This Alternative World Drug Report has been produced by the Count the Costs initiative to describe enforcement related costs, and to start to fill the gap left by official government and UN evaluations. Recent political developments suggest there is a growing demand for a more balanced and comprehensive evaluation of the wider impacts of current drug law enforcement strategies, and also for evidence-based exploration of possible alternative approaches. In particular, the debate on the future of international drug control has moved decisively into the political and media mainstream for the first time. This phenomenon is now reaching critical mass as member states move into a new era following the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem and into negotiations for the new 2019 global drug strategy.

In keeping with this new era, this report also outlines all the major policy options available to governments, and suggests that countries individually and collectively engage in reviews that scrutinise the effectiveness of the current system, and compare it with alternatives that could achieve better outcomes. Ultimately, this report represents a call to apply science to an area of policy that has eschewed adequate scrutiny for far too long. The world is increasingly willing and able to count the costs of the war on drugs, explore the alternatives and gradually move towards the shared goal of a healthier, safer world.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Harm reduction, Crime prevention, Policy
March 2016
192 p.
Count the Costs of the War on Drug
Place of Publication
United Kingdom
2nd edition
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