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Int J Drug Policy. 2018 Jan;51:160-164. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.06.012. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Post-war prevention: Emerging frameworks to prevent drug use after the War on Drugs.

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Division of Global Public Health, University of California San Diego, United States; Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:


The prevention of drug use is one of the primary goals of the War on Drugs. However, despite investment in high-profile interventions such as social marketing campaigns and enforcement-based deterrence, these efforts have generally failed. With the emergence of novel policy frameworks to control and regulate drug use, a window of opportunity exists to test approaches to drug prevention that take into account existing evidence and the rights of individuals who use drugs. Specifically, there is a growing consensus that entry into drug use is a socially-defined event that individuals experience within particular socio-structural contexts. This understanding, coupled with a distinction between the value of preventing problematic drug use rather than all drug use, provides a useful framework within which to develop effective and rights-based approaches to drug prevention.

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