Prepared mainly as background papers for an independent Inter-American Commission on Drug Policy in 1990-91, the contributors to this useful symposium volume analyze the nature and extent of substance abuse problems throughout the Americas, assess major policy alternatives for confronting the scourge of drugs, and evaluate prospects for effective inter-American and international cooperation in this realm. Among the main points of consensus are these: the "drug problem" comprises many diverse issues and dangers; there are no easy or quick solutions to the main problems; demand-reduction strategies deserve much more emphasis and funding; some components of the current "war on drugs" are counterproductive (e.g. interdiction at the border, militarization of anti-narcotics efforts), while other approaches are more promising and need more emphasis: programs for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
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