Criminal justice – drugs

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, financial year ending 2017
This release presents figures for drug seizures made in April 2016 to March 2017 in England and Wales by the police (including the British Transport Police) and Border Force | Home Office, UK

INCB Annual Report and Precursors report 2016, 2017
The INCB Annual Report, prepared in accordance with the international drug control treaties, reviews the functioning of the international drug control system, contains an analysis of the global drug control situation, draws attention to weaknesses in national and international drug control, and makes recommendations to Governments and regional and international organizations. The thematic chapter of the INCB Annual Report for 2016 focuses on the topic of women and drugs | INCB, Switzerland

Guidance: Five nations health and justice collaboration: psychoactive substances, 2017
This statement outlines how the European drug marketplace has become increasingly complex with an increasing number of new substances available alongside more established drugs and diverted medications. The Five Nations Health and Justice Collaboration has been sharing increasing reports of NPS use in prisons across the five nations and their impact, not only on the health of the individual but also the prison regime, which has led to it to make this collective statement | PHE, UK

Drug trafficking penalties across the European Union: a survey of expert opinion, 2017
The results of a study on national drug trafficking laws and their application in the Member States of the European Union are presented in this report. It is based on an analysis of the national laws and on the opinions of legal practitioners — judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers — from 26 countries. The penalties set out in national laws for trafficking cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine and heroin are compared with the sentencing outcomes expected by the legal practitioners, including penalties imposed and the estimated time likely to be spent in prison | EMCDDA, Portugal

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, year ending 31 March 2016
In this publication the numbers of seizures made are affected by police activity and changes in recording practices and police powers, such as the introduction of cannabis warnings. Therefore, the number of drug seizures made and quantity of drugs seized should not be taken as measures of drug prevalence in England and Wales | Home Office, UK

New psychoactive substances in Europe Legislation and prosecution — current challenges and solutions (PDF) 2016

This publication features:

  • An analysis of Member States’ approaches to the NPS issue
  • An analysis of how an EU Court of Justice ruling has left gaps in national jurisdictions which used medicine laws to regulate NPS
  • Case studies from EU Member States
  • A state-by-state overview of innovative laws dealing with NPS

| EMCDDA, Europol, Portugal

NPS Come of Age: A UK Overview, 2016, (PDF)
This report, written by Harry Shapiro is a 2016 DrugWise publication based on work first published by DrugScope in 2014 and 2015. It covers the history of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS); the effects and characteristics of the drugs themselves; the prevalence of their use; treatment and education interventions; and the legislative responses; including, of course, the Psychoactive Substances Act. There are also links to many further sources of information | DrugWise, UK

Circular 004/2016: Psychoactive Substances Act 2016
Provides information about the Psychoactive Substances Act, which comes into effect on Thursday 26 May 2016 | Home Office, UK

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016: guidance for researchers, 2016
This guidance is to help researchers comply with the Psychoactive Substances Act, which comes into effect on 26 May 2016 | Home Office, UK

Psychoactive Substances Act: guidance for retailers, 2016
This guidance is to help retailers understand the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, which comes into effect on 26 May 2016 | Home Office, UK

NPS Communications toolkit, 2016 (PDF)
This pack outlines possible communication activity on the ban of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) to carry out in your local area. It has been written for enforcement partners | Home Office / NPCC, UK

EU Drug Markets Report, 2016
The 2016 EU Drug Markets Report provides a unique insight into the operation of illicit drug markets in the EU. The report assesses the impact of the drug market on society and the factors driving it. It explores the market for cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA and new psychoactive substances. Understanding these hidden markets, and the actors involved, is essential to making sound policy decisions with lasting impact. The report combines the analytical power of the EMCDDA’s drug monitoring system with Europol’s operational intelligence on trends in organised crime | EMCDDA, Portugal

Terminology and Information on Drugs, 2016 (PDF)
The UNODC publication Terminology and Information on Drugs introduces basic concepts and materials on substances under international control, which are most frequently manufactured or processed and/or abused, as well as definitions of scientific terms used in this context. The current revision of this publication is being prepared as a response to changes in drug markets and scheduling decisions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in recent years | UNODC, Austria

The internet and drug markets, 2016
The last decade has seen the emergence of new internet technologies that have acted as important facilitators of online drug markets. The internet now hosts a range of virtual marketplaces (both on the surface and deep web) for selling and buying illicit substances, as well as representing a new arena for health and law enforcement interventions. This first EMCDDA investigation into the world of online drug markets brings together state-of-the-art input from over 20 experts — from academia, journalism and frontline practice — and contributes to the knowledge base on this part of the supply chain | EMCDDA, Portugal

WEDINOS PHILTRE Annual report [Report on NPS], 2016 (PDF)
A new report has found that people can never be sure of what is in so-called ‘legal highs’, or be certain that these substances are legal. Twenty one per cent of samples submitted to Public Health Wales’ WEDINOS programme which were believed to be legal were found to contain a controlled compound | WEDINOS, UK

Women, Drug Policies, and Incarceration: A Guide to Policy Reform in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2016
The use of prison as a response to drugs has had a disproportionate negative impact on women. In Argentina, Brazil, and Costa Rica, more than 60 percent of the female prison population is incarcerated for drug-related offenses. Many of them have low levels of education, live in poverty, and are the primary caregivers of dependent persons—children, young people, the elderly, and the disabled | WOLA, USA

Alternatives to punishment for drug-using offenders, 2015 (PDF)
Based on the options provided by the international drug control legal framework, this paper considers the rehabilitative measures of treating, educating or reintegrating drug users as alternatives or additions to conviction or punishment that are established in the laws of many countries in Europe today. Distinguishing them from ‘alternatives to prison’, it outlines the variety of rehabilitative measures in use and sets out the main issues in their design, implementation and evaluation | EMCDDA, Portugal

New psychoactive substances in Europe: innovative legal responses, 2015 (PDF)
This report takes a close look at the more innovative legal responses that have been designed to address the NPS challenge | EMCDDA, Portugal

Drug courts: Equivocal evidence on a popular intervention, 2015
Some countries have adopted drug treatment courts as a way to reduce drug-related incarceration. Drug treatment courts, also called “drug courts,” are meant to offer court-supervised treatment for drug dependence for some persons who would otherwise go to prison for a drug-related offense. This report looks at the evidence for their effectiveness | IDPC, UK

Death penalty and drug crimes, World Coalition, 2015 (PDF)
This report looks at which countries impose the death penalty for drug possession | World Coalition Against The Death Penalty, France

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview, 2015
Since bring launched in 2007, HRI’s death penalty project has been the leading global resource on the issue of the death penalty for drug offences. In this new fourth edition of HRI’s ‘Global Overview’ series, HRI updates our previous research on the death penalty for drugs in law and practice worldwide, and also considers critical developments on the issue | HRI, UK