Economics of anti-drug campaigns reviewed
27 Jan 2017
Watch the video highlights here:
Anti-drug campaigns and policies are not working (in the Philippine setting), Dr. John Collins, the Executive Director of The London School of Economics IDEAS International Drug Policy Project and coordinator of the Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy, said. Collins spoke via video conference at “The Economics of Anti-Drug Campaigns” forum presented by the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) and the Ateneo Economics Department on January 23, 2017.
Held at Faura AVR, Faura Hall at the Ateneo de Manila University, the forum had Collins sharing his insights on how drug policies have not really been successful. “The idea of a drug-free-world,” Collins said, is not something novel. What the world has failed to realize, he added, is that, that narcotics is a multi-faceted issue and can not be settled using a single solution.
According to Dr. Collins marginal supply interventions will not work as proven by international campaigns and strategies.
Dr. Collins explained the “balloon effect” of influences of the global drug market. Putting pressure on a particular area of the market merely shifts the attention into another area.
In the case of the Philippines, Collins said that it is vital to weigh the country’s drug policies as they would result in instability and even loss of human capital, which may take years to recover.
Dr. Ma. Luz Querubin, Associate Dean for the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, agreed with Collins. As one of the reactors in the forum, Querubin said that the country’s drug problem cannot only be solved by criminalizing drug use. “It is a socio-economic, psychological, and biological need all rolled into one.”
The second reactor, Dr. Ma. Regina M. Hechanova of the Department of Psychology, discussed her recent study on drugs users and their families. She emphasized that the drug problem is a socio-economic, socio-historical, psychological, and biological issue and should be addressed on these levels.
Copies of the 2016 ASoG policy report, “Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaigns: What Works and What Doesn’t Work”, was distributed at the forum.