Search

OPINION: UEL graduate of Health Promotion and Health Services Management Shivani Joshi wants a compassionate drug policy

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 June 2017

UEL

When we speak of drugs, words such as ‘illegal’, ‘addict’, ‘junkie’ and ‘criminal’ are often heard. Yet research shows that 80 per cent of people who use drugs do so without a problem.

It is evident that it is the way in which we regard drugs which is highly problematic. We emphasise legal and illegal, ignoring the fact that we are all drug users in some form, and that some legal drugs are more harmful than many illegal ones.

Even for those who do experience addiction, we should turn our attention to helping them with their problems rather than imprisoning and criminalising them – focusing not on the drug, but on the pain that their drug use may be attempting to diminish. For those with problematic drug use, we advocate a harm reduction approach—rather than punishing behaviour or trying to enforce abstinence.

We should learn from Portugal: the government there decriminalised people who use drugs in 2001, and this policy has led to a fall in overdoses, fewer HIV infections, and a 50pc reduction in injecting drug use.

Harm reduction saves lives.

This month, students from the University of East London will be taking part in the global Support, Don’t Punish campaign (supportdontpunish.org). June 26 is the campaign’s Global Day of Action, with events in more than 100 cities around the world.

In Stratford, information stations run and designed by public health students will highlight how the war on drugs is not working, and what should change. Music, speakers, spoken word poetry and street-art are a few highlights on the day.

We invite you to stand with us in solidarity on June 26 on the Broadway in Stratford, where we will collectively call to action for better, more compassionate drug policy.

Latest Newham Stories

13:00

Wapping’s men and women celebrated hard-fought wins in their latest East League outings at the weekend.

A chance to win a perfect book for West Ham fans just in time for Christmas

Football League

The big Hammers striker played 45 minutes in a friendly at Brentford and is looking for a place on the bench for Saturday

Andy Carroll
11:00

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff has heaped praise on forward duo Macaulay Bonne and Josh Koroma after the pair both netted in their 3-1 win against Bromley.

Josh Koroma
41 minutes ago

A woman from East Ham who was famously sentenced to the death penalty in the 1920s is to be reburied in her family grave.

Home Office

Staff on the Central line are set to walk out for 24 hours the weekend before Christmas.

A bid by Iceland to sell alcohol in its branch inside the Stratford Centre has been meet with concerns by the council and police.

Firefighters tackled a blaze that broke out at a block of maisonettes in the early hours of the morning.

Canning Town

PROMOTED CONTENT

Have you spent time as an unpaid carer? If you are over the age of 25 and living in Newham, the Working for Carers scheme can help you take the first steps back to employment.

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now