Data, statistics and information regarding drugs and international drug control policies

Central and South America - Law & Policy - 2-16-11

(Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy) "Taking into account our continent’s experience in the fight against the narcotics trade and the seriousness of the problem, the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy addresses the present statement to our countries’ governments and public opinion, to the United Nations and the international community, proposing a new paradigm based on three main directives:
"• Treating drug users as a matter of public health.

Harm Reduction Definition

(Harm Reduction Definition) "Harm reduction refers to a range of pragmatic and evidence-based public health policies and practices aimed at reducing the negative consequences associated with drug use and other related risk factors such as HIV and AIDS. These interventions exemplify human rights in action by seeking to alleviate hazards faced by the injecting drug users, where needed, without distinction and without judgement."

Harm Reduction Policies

(Harm Reduction Policies) "Government policies have only limited impact on rates of drug use itself. However policies are highly relevant because they can have significant impacts on the levels of drug-related harm. There is now a great deal of international research showing significant reduction in lifetime drug use among drug users who receive treatment and substantial reductions in both crime and health risk behaviours, especially during the treatment episode.

Mérida Initiative

(Mérida Initiative) "Recognizing the threat posed by mounting criminal violence, at the Mérida Summit held in March 2007, Presidents George W. Bush and Felipe Calderón agreed on the need to expand bilateral and regional cooperation to combat crime in the region. The result was the development of the Mérida Initiative, a multiyear security assistance package for Mexico and Central America. Under the initiative, Mexico was set to receive $1.4 billion, but a specific dollar target was not set for Central America.

Estimated Prevalence of Crack Use in England

(Estimated Prevalence of Crack Use in England) "Among the general population, use of powder cocaine is far more common than use of crack cocaine. Although crack cocaine use is relatively rare, it is associated with very problematic use and drug-related crime, predominantly among those also using opioids. Due to the often chaotic nature of users’ lives, it is likely that household surveys underestimate crack use.

Drug Policy and Electoral Politics

(Drug Policy and Electoral Politics) "Electoral politics was the reason why the preponderance of federal fiscal dollars resourced supply programs higher rather than demand reduction programs. The United States drug policy has been driven by the need to appear tough on drugs, regardless of results. Cocaine and heroin cost are declining and product purity is rising. Presidential leadership has a value, however, pressures to compromise may mitigate effectiveness. Political activism by an informed electorate to help shape the direction of public policy is needed."

Harm Reduction Defined

"Harm reduction encompasses interventions, programmes and policies that seek to reduce the health, social and economic harms of drug use to individuals, communities and societies. A core principle of harm reduction is the development of pragmatic responses to dealing with drug use through a hierarchy of intervention goals that place primary emphasis on reducing the health-related harms of continued drug use (Des Jarlais, 1995; Lenton and Single, 2004).