Letter: Dutch success against drugs

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The Independent Online
Sir: If we are going to make treatment orders as a positive diversion from prison for illegal-drug users ("Drugs policy should be revised", 17 June) we need to make sure that these programmes are well thought out, managed and resourced.

When the chief "motivating" factor is coercion it is often hard for the addicted person to succeed and early drop-out can still be high in spite of the looming prospect of imprisonment. Within most drug taking there are issues of one kind or another around control and resistance to it. Get it right with specially tailored, abstinence-based programmes delivered to a high standard and there could be much to be hopeful about.


Chairman, European Association for the Treatment of Addiction (UK)

Salisbury, Wiltshire