United Kingdom

Statistics and other data regarding drug policies in the United Kingdom, covering all areas including public safety/criminal justice, treatment, harm reduction, prevention, and public health. Please note: the United Kingdom section includes data for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland does its own separate data reporting, so Scotland has a chapter of its own.

Scientific Validity of Drug Classification System

(Scientific Validity of Drug Classification System) "Our findings raise questions about the validity of the current Misuse of Drugs Act classification, despite the fact that it is nominally based on an assessment of risk to users and society. The discrepancies between our findings and current classifications are especially striking in relation to psychedelic-type drugs. Our results also emphasise that the exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Misuse of Drugs Act is, from a scientific perspective, arbitrary.

Heroin-Assisted Treatment

(Heroin-Assisted Treatment) "Uniquely in the United Kingdom, methadone ampoules can also be prescribed. Historically, they have at times been a substantial part of opiate substitution treatment in the United Kingdom (e.g. around 30% in the 1970s and approximately 10% in the early 1990s), but they now account for approximately 2% of all methadone prescriptions in England and Wales (Strang et al., 2007).

Experiment With Reclassification of Cannabis

(Experiment With Reclassification of Cannabis) "The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Modification) (No. 2) Order 20035 reclassified cannabinol and cannabinol derivatives (previously Class A drugs), and cannabis and cannabis resin (previously Class B) as Class C drugs; effective from January 2004. This followed an assessment of their relative harmfulness (ACMD 2002), and should enable a more effective message to be conveyed about the graded scale of danger of different types of drugs, according to their classification.

Drug Rehabilitation Requirement, England and Wales

(Drug Rehabilitation Requirement, England and Wales) "The Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) within a community order or suspended sentence of imprisonment is an intensive vehicle for tackling the drug misuse and offending of many of the most serious and persistent drug misusing offenders in England and Wales (SQ31). DRRs involve treatment, regular testing and court reviews of progress and are subject to rigorous enforcement.