Volume 28 in the series of Side Effects of Drugs Annuals (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/series/seda) continues to serve its primary goal: to provide clinicians and medical investigators with a reliable and critical yearly survey of new data and trends in the area of Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions. An international team of specialists has reviewed new data and trends by selecting from the year's writing all that is truly new and informative, by critically interpreting it, and by pointing to whatever is unproven or misleading. The use of the book is enhanced by separate indexes, allowing the reader to access the text via drug name, adverse effect, or drug interaction.
The twentieth century saw a remarkable upsurge of research on drugs, with major advances in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections, heart disease, stomach ulcers, cancer, and metal illnesses. These, along with the introduction of the oral contraceptive, have altered all of our lives. There has also been an increase in the recreational use and abuse of drugs in the Western world.
This book explores the outcomes of Sweden's aim to create a 'drug-free society' on the lived realities, health, and welfare of people who use drugs, and on the dynamics of Swedish drug use. Drawing on a wealth of empirical data, including extensive interview testimony and participant observation from years of fieldwork conducted in Sweden, the book debunks the widely-believed myth that Sweden is a progressive, liberal, inclusive state. In contrast to its liberal reputation, Sweden has criminalised the use of drugs and allows for compulsory treatment for those with drug dependencies. The work argues that Swedish law and policy cannot be demonstrated to have decreased drug use as intended, with the law used instead as a means with which to displace people who use drugs from public spaces in Sweden's cities. And where the law has failed in its ambition to decrease drug use, Swedish law and policy have increased and exacerbated the problems, dangers, and harms that can be associated with it. People who use drugs in Sweden experience considerable and endemic difficulties with health, violence, abuse, and social exclusion, stigma, and discrimination as a result of Sweden's drug laws, policies, and discourses.
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