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Drug Addiction and Drug Policy

Drug Addiction and Drug Policy

The Struggle to Control Dependence

Edited by Philip B. Heymann and William N. Brownsberger

ISBN 9780674038622

Publication date: 07/01/2009

This book is the culmination of five years of impassioned conversations among distinguished scholars in law, public policy, medicine, and biopsychology, about the most difficult questions in drug policy and the study of addictions. As these intensely argued chapters show, the obvious answers are always alluring but frequently wrong.

Do drug addicts have an illness, or is their addiction under their control? Should they be treated as patients, or as criminals? Challenging the conventional wisdom in both the psychiatric community and the enforcement community, the authors show the falsity of these standard dichotomies. They argue that the real question is how coercion and support can be used together to steer addicts toward productive life.

Written in clear and forceful language, without ideological blinkers and with close attention to empirical data, this book has something to teach both novice and expert in the fields of drug addiction and drug policy. The authors' resistance to sloganeering from right or left will raise the quality of public discussion of a complex issue, and contribute to the management of one of the most painful and enduring problems of American society.

Praise

  • This book is first-rate. The command of the research literature is impressive and the wide range of contributors ensures that readers will be exposed to all aspects of the current questions concerning drug policy. From the wonderfully inclusive overview of Philip Heymann's introduction to the highly detailed discussion of data by William Brownsberger on drug users and drug dealers, each of the contributions is high quality and addresses a cutting edge issue.

    —Mathea Falco, President, Drug Strategies

Authors

  • Philip B. Heymann is James Barr Ames Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
  • William N. Brownsberger is a Massachusetts State Senator. Until 2007 he was Associate Director for Public Policy at the Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Book Details

  • Harvard University Press

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