Urban Health Research Initiative
British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS March 2010

Based on the available English language scientific evidence, the results of this systematic review suggest that an increase in drug law enforcement interventions to disrupt drug markets is unlikely to reduce violence attributable to drug gangs.

Instead, from an evidence-based public policy perspective and based on several decades of available data, the existing evidence strongly suggests that drug law enforcement contributes to gun violence and high homicide rates and that increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting Canadian gangs involved in drug distribution could unintentionally increase violence. In this context, and since drug prohibition has not achieved its stated goal of reducing drug supply, alternative models for drug control may need to be considered if drug-related violence is to be meaningfully reduced.

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