This is the first edition of the IDPC Drug Policy Guide aimed at national government policy makers. This publication is a collaborative effort by a number of IDPC members and partners, and brings together global evidence and best practices on the design and implementation of drug policies and programmes at national level.We are in an era of uncertainty for national policy makers in this field – drug problems and related challenges are increasing and it is increasingly clear that simple ‘war on drugs’ approaches are not succeeding in eradicating the problem. There are a growing number of policy and programme options available to address the harms that are associated with drug markets and drug use. Politicians and officials therefore face the challenge of defining a set of policies and programmes that are appropriate for the situation in their country.

This guide, and the network of expertise that exists across the IDPC, is designed to help in that process. The guide is divided into 15 chapters across four sections:

  • Principles for Effective Drug Policies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health and Social Programmes.
  • Strengthening Communities.

Each chapter describes the nature of the policy challenges and the range of evidence and experiences around the world, and sets out advice and recommendations for effective policy going forward.