Drugs: time to fight for health

International drug enforcement is failing to win the war on drugs. This ailing prohibitionist approach costs tens of billions of euros in global diplomatic relations plus vast health and social costs, including thousands of deaths and millions of infections such as HIV ad HCV. Michel Kazatchkine, UN Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon’s special envoy on HIV/AIDS to Eastern Europe and Central Asia, explains why fighting drug matters more than ever.

The ethics of intervening in addicts’ lives

Philosophical puzzles apply in public health too. In addiction, there is a subtle balance between the rights and responsibilities of the individual and the State. Particularly, when it comes to intervening in the lives of people addicted to substances such as tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Here, Julian Kinderlerer, professor of intellectual property law at Cape Town University, South Africa, who is also president of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), outlines all the facets of the ethical dilemma associated with State intervention towards addiction, and places the role of scientists and ethicists in informing a balanced debate.