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Home > Summary of an eleven-country study of socio-legal measures to combat drug abuse and related crime.

Asuni, T and Bruno, F (1984) Summary of an eleven-country study of socio-legal measures to combat drug abuse and related crime. Bulletin on Narcotics, 36, (3), pp. 3-8.

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In a comparative study of a group of experimental and control subjects in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Japan, Jordan, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States of America (State of New York), and of the results of independent studies conducted in Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a rather close association was found to exist between drug abuse, criminal behaviour and social attitudes to such problems. Both drug abuse and the sociolegal systems varied greatly in the countries involved. No correlation was found between the level of foreseen or actual harshness of the sociolegal system and the level of seriousness of drug abuse and its associated criminality, but there was a significant correlation between knowledge of the law and the efficacy of the socio-legal system. In each country informal control systems, such as the family, church, school, neighbourhood and work environment, were active. Approximately one half of the subjects that were interviewed from countries with the most punitive socio-legal systems perceived informal controls as harsh and punitive while in the other countries such controls were generally perceived as positive. The study encouraged the review, testing and implementation of alternative measures to penal sanctions, particularly with a view to creating a genuine therapeutic approach to correcting the deviant behaviour of drug abusers.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
July 1984
Call No
MM2, VH4
Page Range
pp. 3-8
United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention
Accession Number
HRB 703 (Available)

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