This report is a summary of the research carried out by the Italian Council for the Social Sciences.

Today the social costs associated with the consumption of drugs are mainly borne by the family of the user. The four-pillar policy (prevention, law enforcement, treatment and harm reduction) is not sufficient without a retraining and reintegration of the drug user into productive activity, this being effectively the fifth pillar on which a more proactive policy to contrast struggle against the illegal trade of drugs can be built.

For a policy oriented towards rehabilitation, we need a small shift of funding from the justice system - made possible by a reduction in imprisonment for the drug user - to rehabilitation and employment programmes.

The other components of this policy include: more aid to families; decriminalization of possession for personal consumption; alternatives to prison for problematic drug users, even if they commit petty crimes; establishing a revolving solidarity fund for social enterprises and the formulation of an anti-discriminatory law aimed towards the reintegration of problematic drug users, similar to those that which protects people with disabilities.