Since the late 1980s, the issue of drugs in prison has been an important social topic. The new issue of Théma – magazine of the French monitoring centre for drugs and drug addictions (OFDT) offers a summary of existing work on the subject in order to document the extent and nature of uses, their consequences and the responses to them. This work adopts a double approach: a review of narrative literature allowing a retrospective over 20 years and the promotion of the last work of the OFDT produced on the question.
The inventory drawn up by this publication Théma is an opportunity to recall that, if the uses are much higher among incarcerated people than in the rest of the population, the answers provided come up against contradictions between the prison logic of one side and the healing logic on the other.
The 2019 strategy for the health of people under judicial care provides for the implementation of new epidemiological surveys and innovative responses with regard to users.
The document is currently available only in French. To read it, follow this link>>>
The French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) published a memo which describes the regulatory models that have been implemented since 2014 in the American states that have legalised cannabis, highlighting their differences and similarities. It also discusses the reform processes and common features of states that have legalised cannabis for medical and recreational use.
Author of the memorandum is Ivana Obradovic, OFDT Deputy Director.
After five full years of reform in Colorado and Washington State (2014 – 2018), first outcomes can be reported – although it is not clear whether they are directly attributable to cannabis being legalised. The most significant effects relate to the quick and large-scale industrial expansion of the cannabis supply chain. However, this economic boom has also seen the emergence of three public health concerns:
- The substance is now aimed at all population profiles, from people who have never tried it to regular users and from young people to seniors. The increase in supply and its diversification have increased the incentives to use it, which is only made worse by marketing strategies emphasising cannabis’ “therapeutic virtues” or its dimension of socialisation.
- The increase in the number of emergency calls and hospitalisations following acute intoxication highlights the difficulty of effectively regulating substances put on the market (particularly in terms of the concentration of active ingredients). At the same time, cannabis-related treatment demands have declined.
- The decline in both the perceived dangerousness of cannabis and retail prices have led to it becoming more accessible and the substance being “normalised” which, according to public health stakeholders, could ultimately increase the risks and harm associated with its use (particularly among the younger generation).
To read the memo, follow this link>>>
Since 1999, the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) has been quantifying the opinions and perceptions of the French population on drugs and related public policies through the EROPP survey (Survey on representations, opinions and perceptions regarding psychoactive drugs). For this fifth edition, a sample of 2.001 individuals, representing the French population aged 18 to 75, was selected based on quota sampling. The survey makes it possible to see how opinions are structured around issues in the public debate but also to consider how opinions in France have developed over the last twenty years. For continuity, most of the themes studied in previous surveys have been kept (for example, the perceived dangerousness of different psychoactive substances, the representation of heroin users and opinions on drug legislation). In addition, questions on current topics and new issues have been added.
In 2018, the EROPP survey, now translated into Englosh, focused on five psychoactive substances: tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and heroin. Tendances No. 131 first discusses drug-related knowledge and how dangerous they are perceived to be. Secondly, it reports on individuals’ adherence to public policies that are currently in force or being discussed in France or in other countries. Finally, a final section summarises cannabis users’ opinions through a classification that groups together individuals with similar views. Where possible, the results are compared with those from previous surveys.
To read the survey follow this link>>>