International — Drug Control Policies Around The World

Social and Economic Costs of Drug Use in Australia

Social and Economic Costs of Drug Use in Australia: "Of the total social cost of drug abuse in 2004/05 of $55.2 billion, alcohol accounted for $15.3 billion (27.3 per cent of the unadjusted total), tobacco for $31.5 billion (56.2 per cent), and illicit drugs $8.2 billion (14.6 per cent). Alcohol and illicit drugs acting together accounted for another $1.1 billion (1.9 per cent)."

US Counter-Narcotics Efforts in Colombia, Anti-Insurgency Assistance, and the FARC

"The FARC clearly believes that US counter-narcotics assistance is directed against it, that it is, in effect, disguised counter- insurgency assistance, and that if they, the guerrillas, were to gain the upper hand, the United States would intervene on the side of the Bogota government. Therefore, in its public posture, the FARC has stressed the threat that US military assistance to Colombia poses to the peace process, a theme that plays well with some domestic and international audiences.

Link Between Counter-Narcotics and Counter-Insurgency Strategies

"Although US assistance is provided for counter-narcotics purposes only, there is a clear linkage between the Colombian government's counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency strategies. the Colombian government believes that, by striking at the drug trade, it also strikes at the economic center of gravity of the guerrillas. That is, by destroying the coca and poppy fields, drug-production facilities, and transportation networks, the government can also degrade the guerrillas' ability to carry on the war.
"Whether this is an accurate assessment remains to be seen."

Beginning of Plan Colombia

"The US Congress approved in July 2000 an emergency supplemental assistance request for fiscal years 2000-2001 of $1.32 billion, of which $862.3 million was allocated to Colombia and the balance to neighboring countries (primarily Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador) and to US agencies' Andean region antidrug operations.

Heroin-Assisted Treatment and Decline in Problematic Heroin Use

"Heroin misuse in Switzerland was characterised by a substantial decline in heroin incidence and by heroin users entering substitution treatment after a short time, but with a low cessation rate. There are different explanations for the sharp decline in incidence of problematic heroin use. According to Ditton and Frischer, such a steep decline in incidence of heroin use is caused by the quick slow down of the number of non-using friends who are prepared to become users in friendship chains.