Illicit drug policy in Spain: The opinion of health and legal professionals

Paola Rossi, Ester Blay, Victor Costela, Marta Torrens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, Edita Socidrogalcohol. All rights reserved. The high frequency of criminal behaviour and related legal problems associated with substance addiction generates a field of interaction between legal and healthcare systems. This study was developed as a multicentre project to investigate the opinions of professionals from legal and healthcare systems about policies on illegal drugs and their implementation in practice. A multiple choice questionnaire designed ad hoc was administered to a sample of 230 professionals from legal and healthcare fields working in the cities of Barcelona, Granada and Bilbao. The questionnaire included sociodemographic and work-related data, and assessed interviewees’ information about the response to drug-related crime and opinion on drug policy issues. This article presents the results from Spain. The main results showed that both groups of professionals value alternative measures to imprisonment (AMI) as useful tools to prevent offenses related to drug use and claim a broader application of AMI. They also evaluated positively the regulations on cannabis use in effect. Though the attitude of healthcare professionals towards the application of AMI is more permissive, both groups favour restricting these sanctions in cases of recidivism. Both groups show mild satisfaction with the current addiction healthcare system and express dissatisfaction with actual drug policies in Spain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Addiction
  • Criminal liability
  • Decriminalizing
  • Drug policies
  • Healthcare system


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