Faculty Publications


Drugs: Addictions and Trafficking

Document Type



Addiction, Alcohol abuse, Drug trafficking, Drug use, Harm reduction, Social work practice

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Handbook of International Social Work: Human Rights, Development, and the Global Profession


This chapter focuses on drug use and the drug trafficking that sustains it. Because alcohol is also a drug and is closely associated with addiction worldwide, attention is paid to its use and abuse as well. Following an introductory discussion of the nature of addiction, the chapter describes drug trafficking as a global enterprise with an effect on every continent. It examines two approaches to the problem of the drug trade. The first, which is favored by the US government, involves a declaration of war on the suppliers and users of drugs. The second approach is geared toward reducing the demand for drugs through harm reduction; this approach is favored in Europe and is rapidly gaining proponents elsewhere. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the principles of harm reduction and implications for the social work profession.


Department of Social Work

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version