From Methadone and the National Treatment Agency to Alcohol Brief Interventions and Public Health England:Reflections on the Direction of Travel in Local Government Substance Misuse Policy

This source preferred by William Haydock

Authors: Haydock, W.

Start date: 11 December 2014

We live in interesting times as far as global policies on psychoactive substance use are concerned. It can be argued that attitudes towards a range of substances are converging in favour of legal but heavily regulated markets. In some respects regulations on currently legal substances are being tightened, with minimum unit pricing gaining traction across a number of countries, along with standardised tobacco packaging. At the same time, recreational use of cannabis is now legal (but highly regulated) in Uruguay and a number of states in the USA, and several other countries have decriminalised possession of illicit substances. Energy drinks, new psychoactive substances and e-cigarettes are throwing existing systems of regulation into further confusion. However, this paper takes the case of substance use treatment in England today to note how the experiences of individual citizens are shaped not only by national and international dynamics, but local budgets, agendas and politics. I emphasise the valuable role that academic research can play when it considers not only local policy differences and their impacts, but how such policies are formulated and implemented.

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