Chapter 5: Law, Regulation, and Social Policy

Introduction

Chances are that you know someone who has been in trouble related to drug use, whether it is in your family, neighborhood, work or school.  It could be someone who lost a driver’s license, lost a job, or went to jail.  As a society, we try to protect people from self-harm and harming others.  We also want to have safe medication, protect children, and make it easier for people to get help for drug-related problems.  All these efforts require laws, regulations and social policy.  We decide when something is a crime and when we should send offenders to jail or prison.  The use of valuable drugs become illegal to curbs spreading abuse, while other drugs are reevaluated and made more readily available.  We create tobacco-free environments, require drug tests for jobs, and make it possible for people to get help for problem drug use and addiction.  In this chapter, we will examine laws and policies and explore some of the debates around incarceration and legalizing drugs. 

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Drugs, Health & Behavior by Jacqueline Schwab is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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