Drug Policy

War on Drugs in Fueling a Hepatitis C Pandemic, Says Global Commission on Drugs


Credit: Foter.com / CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

According to the Global Commission on Drug Policy the war on drugs is fueling a hepatitis C pandemic.

From the BBC:

The Commission estimated that of 16 million people worldwide who inject drugs, 10 million are living with hepatitis C.

This puts them at risk of fatal and debilitating liver disease.

The Global Commission called on governments to decriminalise drug use and provide schemes, such as those which give access to sterile needles, to halt the spread of the disease.

The group, which includes seven former presidents, ex-UN chief Kofi Annan and other world leaders, has previously linked the "failed" war on drugs with the spread of HIV.

In its latest report it says in some countries with the harshest drug policies more than 90% of people who inject drugs are living with hepatitis C.

One of the commissioners and former Swiss president Ruth Dreifuss said, "The war on drugs is a war on common sense," and, "Repressive drug policies are ineffective, violate basic human rights, generate violence and expose individuals and communities to unnecessary risks."

It is alarming that 10 million of the estimated 16 million people who inject drugs worldwide are living with hepatitis C. Thankfully, the Portuguese drug policy of decriminalization provides an example of a drug policy that does reduce hepatitis C infections. 

Of course, adopting a drug policy similar to Portugal's would mean abandoning the idea that people who take currently illegal drugs should be treated like criminals, something that most of the world's policymakers are unfortunately not ready to concede.

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  1. It’s a feature, not a bug. People who do drugs are bad people who deserve whatever bad thing happens to them. [/drug prohibitionist]

    1. my best friend’s sister makes $73 hourly on the laptop. She has been out of a job for five months but last month her pay check was $16998 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more…. http://WWW.DAZ7.COM

      1. Does she do drugs?

  2. My employer is hosting a blood drive today. I’ve a needle in my arm as I’m reading this. Hilarious.

  3. There certainly isn’t an alt-text pandemic.

  4. And now that I can think coherently again (God, I loathe needles), some commentary: the U.N. is telling us how to run our failed, ruinous drug prohibition? What next, telling us what small arms we can permit??

    1. Thank you for donating blood.

    2. Heh…small arms…heh….

      I was wondering who’d suggest what alt text.

  5. Government doesn’t give a shit about these people. They have pubsec prison guard and police unions to pay and provide jobs for, and private prison companies to appease!

    As long as incarceration makes all the Right People money, legalization is a pipe dream. If they legalize, they’d have to cut down on raw numbers of policemen and prison guards, though even if they did legalize surely they’d find some new threat which suddenly requires police intervention and incarceration in order to appease unions.

    1. they’d find some new threat

      Put down that supersized soda, and we won’t shoot your dog. Ha ha, just kidding; we’ll shoot your dog regardless.

    2. I’ve maintained that a positive selling point to end the war on drugs would be that police could focus their efforts on catching real criminals, uncovering these sex trafficking rings where there are real victims, etc. I want the police unions to push back against that so they could be exposed for the lazy bastards who just want arrest numbers and pot stops are easy.

      1. The police don’t find those because they exist mainly in their imaginations.

  6. One of the commissioners and former Swiss president Ruth Dreifuss said, “The war on drugs is a war on common sense,” and, “Repressive drug policies are ineffective, violate basic human rights, generate violence and expose individuals and communities to unnecessary risks.”

    See! That proves drugs are bad for you! We must redouble our efforts!


  7. Lewts roll that beautiful bean footage!


  8. If almost two thirds of the IV drug users are infected with hepatitis C, then I suspect that giving away sterile needles won’t do all that much as those people likely don’t give a damn about anything then than their habit.

  9. I’m all for not treating them like criminals, but I don’t want to treat them like wards of the state, either. Developing a heroin addiction is a stupid fucking idea; buy your own damn needles, and get off my lawn.

  10. When you really consider how insidious HCV infection is, then add to that that people can’t really know all the history of their partners, and their partners former partners, it’s really a no-brainer to do whatever you can to prevent it’s spread.

    It’s not uncommon for people to get HCV, and actually get sick and die before the person who gave it to them ever shows symptoms.

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