drugs chief praises Swedish drug control model
September (UNODC) - The Executive Director of
the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
Antonio Maria Costa, said on Thursday that
Sweden's successful drug control policies were a
model which other countries could learn much
Launching a UNODC
report entitled Sweden's Successful Drug
Policy: A Review of the Evidence, he said
drug use in Sweden was just a third of the
European average while spending on drug control
was three times the EU average.
the drug problem that they deserve," Mr Costa
said. "In Sweden's case, the commitment to
prevention, law enforcement, demand reduction
and treatment over the past thirty years has
made a significant difference."
Mr. Costa said
those who doubted the effectiveness of drug
control should look at Sweden's experience,
which was useful not only for showing that drug
control is possible, but how and why.
The report shows
that amphetamine use in Sweden was high in the
1950s when such stimulants were readily
available. Overall drug use rose in the second
half of the 1960s during a period of rather
liberal drug policies but declined strongly in
the 1970s and the 1980s due to progressively
tightening drug control. Drug use rose again in
the 1990s due to budget cuts, unemployment and
growing drug supplies but has followed a clear
downward trend since 2001 as a result of a
National Action Plan, the establishment of a
National Drug Coordinator and improved funding.
Mr Costa praised
the culture of drug abuse prevention and
treatment in Sweden. "Long-term and cohesive
policies, backed up by sufficient funding and
the support of civil society, have proven vital
for success," he said.
He stressed the
strong correlation between the Swedish
Government's special efforts to target cannabis
and amphetamine-type stimulants and an overall
reduction in drug use. "The lessons of Sweden's
drug control history should be learned by
others," said Mr. Costa.
for Public Health and Social Services, Morgan
Johansson, said: "I am very proud that the
report commends Sweden as a successful example.
But this doesn't mean that we have won the fight
against drugs. The work must continue, every
day. Preventive measures are necessary. We also
have to improve rehabilitation for people with
drug abuse problems."
Executive Director praised Sweden's efforts to
promote international drug control and thanked
the country for its support for UNODC. "When it
comes to drug control, Sweden practises what it
preaches. It is a driving force in ensuring
implementation of international drug control
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