Stop saying 'junkie': Drug experts plot path to recovery

Drug policy has been at the centre of rows at cabinet level, according to reports.
Drug policy has been at the centre of rows at cabinet level, according to reports.

By politics.co.uk staff

Drug users can recover quicker if they do not have to face stigmatising terms like 'junkie' and 'addict', a leading drug thinktank has warned.

The UK Drugs Policy Commission study, 'Sinning and Sinned Against: The Stigmatisation of Problem Drug Users', found much of the media's coverage of drug addiction to be unhelpful and wanted education campaigns to be combined with statements from celebrities who had conquered drug addiction.

The new approach would aim at helping drug users realise that it is not necessarily a lifetime affliction.


The report comes as abstinence-based programmes for tackling drug use gain considerable currency at Cabinet level.

The approach is understood to have the support of Oliver Letwin, David Cameron's policy tsar.

But a statement from drugs minister James Brokenshire confirming a change in rhetoric and the continuation of methadone-based treatment suggested Iain Duncan Smith had failed to wrestle control of drugs policy from the Home Office.

The welfare secretary was thought to favour a policy which would have seen drug users lose benefits if they refused to quit.

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