Substance Misuse

Julian Buchanan, Jonathan Evans, Gordon Hughes, Kate Williams

    Research output: Other contribution


    This paper takes a critical look at substance misuse policy in Wales and makes the following recommendations:

    (1) Ensure that the Substance Misuse Policy incorporates all substances, including tobacco and caffeine.

    (2) Create a clearer distinction between substance use and substance misuse, and target resources at those engaged in the latter.

    (3) Pilot and independently evaluate projects that prescribe heroin and provide clinically managed safe injecting rooms. The rationale behind such programmes is to reduce harm and bring problematic substance misusers off the streets and into treatment.

    (4) As part of a range of options available under the Community Order, pilot and independently evaluate integrated intervention packages for problematic substance misusers caught up in the criminal justice system.

    (5) Independently review the outcomes of existing drugs/substance misuse prevention education, establish effectiveness and viability criteria and allocate resources accordingly.

    (6) Learning from the Portuguese approach, explore with law enforcement agencies creative options under existing legislation to divert police attention away from substance users and towards substance misusers, concentrating efforts on those substances that are known to cause most harm.

    (7) Seek to repeal or amend the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 so that:

    a. Legislation reflects a drug classification system which more accurately correlates with the research evidence.

    b. Personal possession of substances results in a referral for drug education/treatment rather than criminal conviction and a penalty.

    c. Legislation includes all substances that are currently used recreationally for pleasure.
    Original languageEnglish
    TypeIdeas Wales Think Tank
    Media of outputDigital
    Number of pages7
    Place of PublicationCardiff
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • wales
    • substance misuse
    • criminal justice


    Dive into the research topics of 'Substance Misuse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this