Is drug treatment policy in England & Wales evidence-based?

Hobbs, Charlie (2016) Is drug treatment policy in England & Wales evidence-based? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Despite spending of £1.2bn each year on drug strategies, over 2900 drug poisoning deaths were reported in 2013 throughout England and Wales. Drug addiction presents an overwhelming social and economic impact which requires immediate response. As such, this research will examine the extent to which policy surrounding drug treatment in England and Wales is evidence-based.
    Establishment of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs alongside the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 symbolised the beginnings of an evidence-based approach to drug strategy in England and Wales for the first time. Critical analysis of the wide drug treatment research literature provided a basis upon which the effectiveness of the current 2010 drug strategy, Reducing Demand, Restricting Supply, Building Recovery, could be assessed.
    The 2010 drug strategy continuously asserts its commitment to evidence-based policy. However, this research has identified that the strategy has disregarded wider research
    literature surrounding what works in effective drug treatment. Evidence provided to support the strategies claims was both weak and selective, largely ignoring contradictory research. On a number of occasions the strategy seemingly purposefully neglects the established evidence basis of alternative treatment approaches, in order to garner support for its abstinence­-focused ideology.
    By means of this study it is recommended that further research focus on the extent to which coerced abstinence can be considered as effective in producing recovery. Additional examination of the relationship between stigma and recovery outcomes may also prove useful in maximising the potential for individual recovery throughout future drug policy and strategy.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2016 12:33
    Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 12:33

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