A Public Health Approach to Drug Use in Asia: Principles and Practices for Decriminalisation

Publications - Released in 2016

In this report, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) offers recommendations based on evidence and examples of good practice to inform a shift in policy responses to drug use in Asia away from criminalisation and punishment, and towards public health and harm reduction. It describes effective approaches to the decriminalisation of drug use. It also discusses approaches implemented in Asia that have proven ineffective, such as the detention of people who use drugs in compulsory centres as a form of 'rehabilitation'.

The report is intended as a resource for policy makers, legislators, communities of people who use drugs and civil society organisations in Asia. The overall goal of the report is to offer guidance on steps that countries can undertake to develop drug policies that achieve better public health outcomes, by shifting away from the criminalisation and punishment of people who use drugs. It also describes legal and policy responses to drugs that are not effective, such as the detention of people who use drugs in compulsory centres for drug users, forced urine testing, compulsory registration and other punitive measures.


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  • International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)