"Differences in the prevalence of drug use are influenced by a variety of factors in each country. As countries with more liberal drug policies (such as the Netherlands) and those with a more restricted approach (such as Sweden) have not very different prevalence rates, the impact of national drug policies (more liberal versus more restrictive approaches) on the prevalence of drug use and especially problem drug use remains unclear. However, comprehensive national drug policies are of high importance in reducing adverse consequences of problem drug use such as HIV infections, hepatitis B and C and overdose deaths."


European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "2001 Annual Report on the State of the Drugs Problem in the European Union" (Brussells, Belgium: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2001), p. 12.