Start Date

8-5-2020 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Muskie School of Public Service

Advisor

Erika Ziller, PhD

Abstract

The policies of the “war on drugs” have resulted in mass incarceration and access barriers for substance use disorder treatments and harm reduction services. Contrary to common depictions of drug use as a byproduct of poor character, or innate immorality, research shows that substance use (and substance use disorders) often originate from trauma, social alienation, and a lack of social supports. By addressing the root of substance use, rather than criminalizing individuals, society will be better equipped to address the public health crisis of persistently high rates of drug-related disease and death.

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May 8th, 12:00 AM

Drug Criminalization in the US: Unintended consequences and policy alternatives

The policies of the “war on drugs” have resulted in mass incarceration and access barriers for substance use disorder treatments and harm reduction services. Contrary to common depictions of drug use as a byproduct of poor character, or innate immorality, research shows that substance use (and substance use disorders) often originate from trauma, social alienation, and a lack of social supports. By addressing the root of substance use, rather than criminalizing individuals, society will be better equipped to address the public health crisis of persistently high rates of drug-related disease and death.

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