Understanding and Working with Substance Misusers explores the complex nature of addiction and the challenges involved in responding effectively through policy and practice. It examines the biopyschosocial elements of addiction to substances (including alcohol) and, draws together key research findings from these fields to present a new framework for integrating theory and practice. This book fills the need for a text which makes the complex issues surrounding substance misuse accessible to both students and practitioners.

The Policy Context and Legal Framework

The policy context and legal framework

The aims of this chapter are to:

  • review the international, regional and domestic responses to drug use
  • outline within the UK context the key policies related to the use of drugs and their effects
  • compare and contrast alcohol and cannabis to explore the related themes of ‘differential prohibition’ and ‘relative harmfulness’, and their application to the classification of drugs.

For most countries there is a range of laws and policies that will impinge upon the control and supply of drugs. It is important that both the practitioner and the academic are familiar with these as drug use is a factor that all professions working within welfare and caring jobs will come across, and very often at an interface ...

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