Narcotics: Failure of Permissiveness

Only six years ago the British government and its top medical advisers were convinced that by treating narcotics addiction as an illness instead of as a crime, they had neatly confined the drug problem. Only 471 addicts were known, and only two of these were under 20 and on heroin. The practice of providing drugs cheaply, even to known addicts, through the National Health Service had eliminated most of the motive for smuggling dope or peddling it. The black market in pilfered prescription drugs was negligible. Britons could perhaps be pardoned for...

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