Handbook of Drug Control in the United States

Handbook of Drug Control in the United States

Handbook of Drug Control in the United States

Handbook of Drug Control in the United States


This timely handbook surveys the U.S. government's efforts to control illegal drugs. Inciardi and his contributors offer a useful way of thinking about and understanding the problem of illegal drugs, and provide the history of and research on drug policy so that policy makers have a necessary tool for developing a realistic and effective national drug policy.


At a time when the first director of national drug control policy has been appointed to that new federal cabinet position, James A. Inciardi, director of the Division of Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware, has provided an unusually valuable service in compiling the Handbook of Drug Control in the United States.

Despite the how-to-do-it connotations of the term handbook, and despite the expert and comprehensive span of the chapters Dr. Inciardi has assembled here, he has wisely avoided the trap into which so many have fallen in attempting to deal with our major national problem of drug trafficking and drug abuse. There is no suggestion here of a one-and-only solution to the problem of illegal drugs. There is no echo of the grandiose wars on drugs that have allowed us to deceive ourselves into believing, more than once over the past twenty years, that if we just mount one last grand campaign, we can eliminate drug abuse and drug trafficking and, in good American fashion, turn our attention to the next item on our national list of problems to be solved. The scale of our problem with illegal drugs tempts us to that analogy with war, but the war-making psychology it engenders--to get it over with as quickly as possible and move on--has invariably led us astray. That temptation and that psychology are absent from this handbook. Dr. Inciardi offers both wiser advice and harder work.

The makings of an effective national antidrug policy are here--from the history and evolution of drug abuse and drug control in the United States, through surveys of supply-reduction and demand-reduction strategies, to a frank scrutiny of the drug control controversies before us today, and finally to the direction drug control may take in the future--but there is no prefabricated solution to the problem, no formula that will free us as a nation from the labor of controlling the abuse and trafficking in illegal drugs.

Instead, Dr. Inciardi and the contributing authors offer us something far more valuable and, in the long run, far more promising--a useful way of thinking about the problem. What we find here is a catalog of the tools we need to . . .

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