chapter  6
14 Pages

Global policy initiatives and strategy on alcohol and drugs

WithG. Hussein Rassool

Despite the long-standing political prominence of the problem, relatively coherent strategies and substantial investment, alcohol and drug dependence are becoming chronic public health problems. The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. It is now recognised that the long-term strategy in reducing the supply and the elimination of the cultivation of illicit drugs is dependent on alternative and sustainable development and balanced drug control policies. There are significant challenges that remain in implementing a drug and alcohol global strategy. A debate is in vogue in a number of countries on the legalisation and decriminalisation of the possession and use of cannabis for personal use and the use of medical cannabis. Strong political activity at both the national and international level and a united response from the global health community will be necessary to lobby for effective health promotion activities and counteract the approaches of the alcohol and tobacco lobby in preventing the development of efficient and evidence-based public health policies.