218570 Role of social justice in drug use and public health approaches

Monday, November 8, 2010

Clyde McCoy, PhD , Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Duane C. McBride, PhD , Behavioral Science Department, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
Min Zhao, PhD , Shanghai Drug Abuse Treatment Center, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai, China
Rosario Ache, PhD , Inisa, University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica
Mary Comerford, MSPH , Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Drug abuse, its origins, spread, and consequences have been inextricably associated with many social, cultural, psychological, economic, legal, and health related events. Drug abuse research and education play a critical multi-disciplinary scientific role by providing an estimate of the magnitude, impact, and risk of drug abuse on a population, and by laying the foundation for developing public health strategies to prevent and treat drug abuse. One of our major gaps in research is the lack of understanding of the spread and migration of drug use from place to place—rural to urban, country to country, and even group to group. We propose to elaborate the investigation of this very important phenomenon as it represents a large interdisciplinary, international public health concern which has received little study. Few, if any, countries are without the specter of drug abuse. Countries, such as China, which have modified the punishment of drug abuse away from the death penalty, are experiencing national epidemics while in countries such as the United States the epidemic remains unabated . By determining the many factors which contribute to the use of drugs—economic, geographic, cultural, political—an understanding of drug abuse may lead to a new model to provide insight into this challenge. We will discuss the global as well as country specific trends in the use and migration of drugs and suggest public health approaches to deal with this scourge in ways that are not only effective but socially just and do not rely on Draconian measures.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of understandin the factor involved in the local, national, and international spread of drug abuse.

Keywords: Drug Abuse, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have extensive experience in international drug abuse research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.