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An unholy triangle? Evidence, politics and uncertainty in drug policy

Professor Nutt’s talk explores the contributions of politics and science to decision making about alcohol and other drugs. Professor Nutt reveals how evidential uncertainties are used to strengthen the political rhetoric and how this process has led to the denial of clinical research and utility to the great detriment of millions of people for many decades. This lecture was first hosted by the Centre for Addiction Research, at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

We have seen how the media, think tanks and politicians tout the same old “tough on drugs” rhetoric for years now without successfully reducing drug harms. Professor Nutt offers an alternative to this outdated approach. In his talk he discusses:

– The successes of other nations, such as Portugal.

– New and novel approaches to tackle the rise in ‘synthetic cannabis’ use.

– Why the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 is possibly the worst piece of drug legislation to have ever been introduced in the UK.

Let us take stock and discuss what has changed over the past decade of Drug policy and what still needs to be done in order to see a world where drug control is rational and evidence-based; where drug use is better informed and drug users are understood; and where drugs are used to heal, not harm.

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