The use of punishments such as incarceration for those involved in the illicit drug trade has long been relied upon a deterrent. However, it has resulted in the imposition of disproportionate sentencing (including the use of the death penalty) and overcrowded prisons, with high risks to health, social cohesion and human rights. Some countries and jurisdictions are now moving towards decriminalisation, alternatives to prison and the regulation of some markets.
Eggins et al. found that there is limited high-quality scientific evidence that can be used to examine the impact of the law-enforcement mechanisms of supplier arrest and seizure on a range of drug-related outcomes.