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October 2021

Differentiating drugs by harm potential: The rational versus the feasible

Journal/Book: Subst Use Misuse. 1999; 34: 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA. Marcel Dekker Inc. 25-34.

Abstract: In an ideal harm reduction model, drugs would be ranked according to their potential to cause harm, with varying implications for control policies and interventions. In such a public health oriented approach, the maximum protection of the public from harm would be balanced with the least possible restriction of freedom. In reality, however, the accuracy and completeness of the necessary information for such a ranking is highly limited. Many other factors not readily incorporated in a rational model, such as values, beliefs, and traditions, also affect drug policy decisions. Thus, rather than relying on acquisition of the necessary knowledge, it may be preferable to focus efforts on developing effective nonlegal measures to reduce drug use and harm. [Translations are provided in the International Abstracts Section of this issue.].

Note: Article Kalant H, Univ Toronto, Dept Pharmacol, Med Sci Bldg, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, CANADA

Keyword(s): harm reduction; policy; public health; ALCOHOL-CONSUMPTION; REINFORCEMENT; ENDOCARDITIS; COCAINE; ADDICTS

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