Unintended consequences of drug policies experienced by young drug users in contact with the criminal justice systems

Moskalewicz, Jacek, Dabrowska, Katarzyna, Herold, Maria Dich, Beccaria, Franca, Rolando, Sara, Herring, Rachel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8588-5842, Thom, Betsy ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4975-7613, Kahlert, Rahel, Stummvoll, Gunter, Moazen, Babak, Stöver, Heino and Pisarska, Agnieszka (2021) Unintended consequences of drug policies experienced by young drug users in contact with the criminal justice systems. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 28 (1) . pp. 36-47. ISSN 0968-7637 [Article] (doi:10.1080/09687637.2020.1823944)

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to assess to what extent prohibitive drug policies hamper the management of drug problems from the perspective of young people who have experience with the criminal justice systems (CJS). Qualitative, in-depth interviews were carried out in six European countries (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the UK) following a common interview guide to obtain comparative data on the life trajectories of drug experienced youth. Altogether 198 interviews with people aged 14–25 years were collected and analysed by national teams following a common coding book. Unintended consequences of drug policies for the individual and society were identified. Individual consequences included health consequences and traumatic experiences with law enforcement. Social consequences included those affecting social relations such as stigmatisation and those impacting on institutions, for example, focusing on drug use and neglecting other problems. This paper confirmed earlier research indicating unintended consequences of prohibitive drug policies but also added to the literature its cross-national perspective and use of young people narratives as a source of analyses. There are, however, policy measures available that may reduce the volume and range of unintended effects. Their implementation is crucial to reduce the array of unintended consequences of prohibitive drug policies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Drug policy; drug use; youth; criminal justice system; interventions; drug treatment
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 32895
Notes on copyright: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way
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Depositing User: Rachel Herring
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 08:09
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2021 13:56
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/32895

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