Illegal drug problems and their treatments

Michael Gossop and Luke Mitcheson give their practical recommendations.
Drug use affects individuals, their families and society as a whole, and the consequences of illegal drug use impose enormous costs upon society. Psychologists are well placed to contribute to a rational and informed understanding of this complex problem, and to play an important role in raising the standard of public and political debate. Their skills in assessment and formulation, their awareness of the embeddedness of individual behaviour within society, their knowledge of normal behaviour and its continuities with abnormal behaviour – all are important assets in a field which is often dominated by psychiatry and psychiatric models. Psychologists can also make an influential research and academic contribution, and have the potential to play a key part in the treatment of drug problems.

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