There are few topics that divide public opinion as sharply as the use of psychoactive substances and it is easy to see why. Substance use is complex and can be examined from numerous perspectives, including legal, health, economic, cultural and ethical. These varying approaches can lead to a range of different conclusions. Here we explore some of the common approaches adopted towards drug policy and suggest a number of principles, which may inform a psychiatrist's own view.
A.L.-H. has received honoraria paid into her institutional funds for speaking and chairing engagements from Lundbeck, Lundbeck Institute UK, Janssen-Cilag, Pfizer and Servier; received research grants or support from Lundbeck and GSK; consulted for Silence, NET Device Corps and Sanofi-Aventis; and also consulted for, but received no monies from, Britannia Pharmaceuticals, GLG, Opiant, Lightlake and Dobrin. O.B.-J. and J.S. have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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