There is a reason we continue to have drug use problems. Drug use is complicated. Drug use can come to mean many things in different contexts, and how we try to control drug use can vary enormously. From my own policy practice, considerable diversity can be seen in how people approach drug use: drug criminals in rural Indonesia are sometimes chained to trees; until recently, drug users in Ecuador were given the same ‘rehabilitation’ treatment as homosexuals; in the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang, methadone was considered only a superficial treatment for opiate addiction because it was a Western pharmaceutical; in Somalia, chewing the leafy pseudoephedrine-containing plant ‘khat’ is considered a part of masculine political culture; and in some parts of Uzbekistan, a good mother learns how to inject her children with drugs, a practice considered abhorrent by many mothers in other parts of the world.
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