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Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

The Journal of Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues

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Volume 32, Issue 4 (Sep 2015)


Drug policy, values and the public health approach – four lessons from drug policy reform movements

Ole Rogeberg
  • Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research
  • Email:
Published Online: 2015-09-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nsad-2015-0034


Drug policies affect a large set of outcomes and may reflect the concerns of several policy stakeholder groups. Researchers analysing policies typically employ a public health approach, extended to reflect concerns beyond population health and longevity. I argue that the resulting approach, as currently practised, fails to capture several concerns seen as important by recent drug policy reform movements, that is, the full harms of illegal markets, the subjectively valued consumption of intoxicants, the dysfunctionality of current policy processes in the drug field and the value of the knowledge gained from policy experiments. I illustrate this by referring to the book Drug policy and the public good, a public health-based review of research evidence and its relevance for drug policy written by leading international researchers in the field.


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About the article

Received: 2015-03-10

Accepted: 2015-04-14

Published Online: 2015-09-19

Published in Print: 2015-09-01

Citation Information: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN (Online) 1458-6126, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nsad-2015-0034. Export Citation

© Ole Rogeberg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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