In the late 1980s illicit drug use became a major social problem in the UK. Since then policy and practice has largely been shaped by psychological and medical perspectives that emphasise the physiological and psychological nature of dependence. Concerned by the limited impact in reducing the number of problem drug users, in 2000 the Government shifted the emphasis away from voluntary treatment by the Health and Voluntary sector, towards coercive treatment, initially in the form of a Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTOs). The Criminal Justice Interventions Programme (CJIP), a £447m programme to ‘direct drug misusing offenders out of crime and into treatment’ (Home Office, 2004 p. 29) further illustrates and reinforces this shift. This article argues that this shift in approach is also likely to founder, as it continues to be dominated by a narrow focus on the individual and their drug dependence, and fails to adequately address the social context, nature and underlying causes of problem drug use.
Community Health | Public Health | Social Work | Substance Abuse and Addiction
Buchanan, J. (2004) ‘Missing links? Problem drug use and social exclusion’. Probation Journal,51(4), 387-397
Digital Commons Citation
Buchanan, Julian, "Missing links? Problem drug use and social exclusion" (2004). Social Inclusion Research Unit. Paper 4.