Cross-country Comparison of Treatment Policies Facing the Drug Abuse in Five Selected Countries

Document Type : Original Article


1 Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Health Services Management Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Research Center for Addiction and Risky Behavior, Psychiatric Department, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Background: Drug abuse is one of the main problems of human's life; thus communities have been thinking
about the solution of this problem. The present study aimed to compare the general features of drug abuse
treatment policies, war on drugs (WOD), and harm reduction (HR), in the selected countries.
Methods: The present study was a comparative and desk research that sought to compare context,
stewardship, financing, type of substance abuse treatment services, reasons of paradigm shift, and executive
challenges of treatment policies in the selected countries (China, Malaysia, Germany, Netherland, and Iran).
The necessary data for comparison of the countries were collected through valid databases, review of
documents, and reports of international organizations.
Findings: Context conditions were better in the HR countries. In most countries, the central government
played a key role in the stewardship, financing, and service providing. In WOD countries, the presence of
judicial structure was higher in the treatment of drug abuse. The policy-making approach was ideological in
WOD countries, but evidence-based in HR countries.
Conclusion: It seems that performance of HR countries is better than WOD countries.


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