My Journey: 6. Cracks in the UK Drug Strategy

Describes a piece of research I conducted relating to a 2003 article by Nick Davies for The Guardian newspaper in which he claimed that the UK Drug Strategy was failing as a result of government bureaucracy. I followed up this report by contacting  Drug Action Team (DAT) co-ordinators to see how prevalent this  problem was across the country. (2,872 words)

 ‘The government is so determined to control every aspect of the delivery of policy that the control itself becomes the object of the project, disrupting and obstructing, delaying and destroying.’ Nick Davies, The Guardian, 22 May 2003

On 22 May 2003, leading investigative journalist Nick Davies, the man who first revealed the News of the World phone hacking story six years later, had a long article, How Britain is Losing the Drug War, published in The Guardian newspaper.

In brief, Davies argued that the central government-produced bureaucracy surrounding Drug Action Teams (DATs), local multi-agency partnerships created to help government deliver and monitor elements of the UK drugs strategy, was at such a high level that the DATs were unable to do their work properly. This was resulting in a failure to provide adequate treatment for people with a substance use problem. He went on to say that the whole system might collapse and with it the UK drugs strategy.

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