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Drugs and the Law

  • Roger Farmer
Chapter

Synopsis

Drug dependence has many facets, not least its relationship with the law. For instance, one approach to limiting harm to the individual and society from drug misuse has been to curb by means of legal controls the possession, use and supply of certain drugs. In this chapter the development of drugs legislation in the United Kingdom will be briefly described and this will provide an historical context for an outline of that cornerstone of current law relating to drugs, the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. The Mental Health Act as it applies to drug misuse will then be summarised.

Given the overall statistical association between drug misuse and criminal activity, health-care professionals working with drug dependents may be called on to prepare court reports or to give evidence in court. Some guidance for these tasks will be presented. Lastly the complex relationship between drug misuse and crime will be explored and possible reasons for an association discussed.

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References

  1. Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (1982) Treatment and Rehabilitation (London: Department of Health and Social Security).Google Scholar
  2. Berridge V. (1977) Opium and the historical perspective. Lancet, ii, 78–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Mott J. (1981) Criminal involvement and penal response. In Drug Problems in Britain: A Review of Ten Years, eds Edwards G. and Busch C. (London: Academic Press), pp. 217–244.Google Scholar
  4. Nurco D.N. (1987) Drug addiction and crime: a complicated issue. Br. J. Addiction, 82, 7–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Bibliography

  1. Berridge V. and Edwards G. (1981) Opium and the People (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books).Google Scholar
  2. Bucknell P. and Ghodse H. (1986) Misuse of Drugs: Criminal Law Library No. 2 (London: Waterlow).Google Scholar
  3. Carson D. (1985) Doctors in the witness box. Br. J. Hosp. Med., 33, 283–286.Google Scholar
  4. Edwards G. and Busch C. (eds) (1981) Drug Problems in Britain: A Review of Ten Years (London: Academic Press).Google Scholar
  5. Gostin L. (1983) A Practical Guide to Mental Health Law. The Mental Health Act 1983 and Related Legislation (London: MIND).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Farmer

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