Why Did The British Drug Policy Change In The 1960s?

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The drug policy in UK is a significant topic in the study of drug and policy. The British system of drug control has been through lots of changes. The purpose of this essay is to answer the question of “What was special about the ‘British System’ of drug control, and how and why did it change in the 1960s?” The essay will focus on the development of British drugs policy from the start of the twentieth century to the end of the 1960s; (Berridge, V., 2013) locate it within the context of international drug control policies. It will describe and analyse how illicit drug use has been defined and responded to in British society. To obtain a better understanding of the British system, this essay will begin with introducing the main concept of it.…show more content…
Berridge (1998, p135) claimed there were three British systems: a lay/commercial system of control until the mid nineteenth century, the pharmaceutical model of control since 1868 as well as the medico-penal legalisation by Rolleston report. Various British systems functioned with one another in different situations. In particular, the appearance of the Rolleston report had a major impact on the British system. It is a drug control model, which prescribes morphine and heroin to addicts. As it turned out, the British system successfully avoided going through ‘war on drugs’ in American and the growth of a drug-controlled black market. The Rolleston committee sufficiently took control of the number opium addicts in the UK and kept them in the middle…show more content…
(Stimson, 1987) It presented a “medico-centric” way to the addicts and the medical care for drug abuse. Compared to the other nations, the focus of the system was put on the doctors and the patients rather than the legal field. The addicts were under the supervision of the doctors. They were seen as people who needed support instead of criminals. Another feature was that it had positive effects on the wider community. The British system was believed to decrease the economic issues and keep the social order, for example, minimize the size of the black market. Treating the addicts individually was thought to avoid the expand of illicit drug use. However, the British system had no choice but to change because of the rise of addicts, especially in young people. They even attempt to experiment with non-traditional drugs. (Mott, J. & Bean, P., 1998) They had access to the heroin due to the troublesome doctors who had their personal interest. To react with the emerging problems in the society, the Brain committee published two reports. In those reports, the committee restricted the doctor’s power over drugs and this changed the bad habit of prescribing within the system. The reports also offered for therapy in special psychiatrist centres and informing addicts’ name to the Home Office for the consideration of public health. Under the influence of the two reports, the 1967

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