Journal of Psychopharmacology 20(3) (2006) 331
David Nutt University of Bristol, Psychopharmacology Unit, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Bristol, UK.
I am delighted that we have had five such thoughtful and helpful commentaries on my critique. To précis the replies they all say that the ideas I put forward are generally sound and also offer further evidence to support some of them. The natural experiment that Robin Room cites where two cities in the Low Countries utilized quite different approaches during the European 2000 football championship is especially telling, being so recent.
All five commentators also make the point that to effect almost any of the suggestions I made would require a significant change in political will. The example of double standards in relation to regulation of nicotine products is further evidence that a sea change in attitudes will be required to move this issue forward. So how can we begin to open up the debate that such progress will require?
I suggest that the recent Foresight Brain Science Addiction and Drugs (BSAD) initiative gives us a great opportunity since this project has highlighted many of the paradoxes of current and future drug regulation. The action points I have listed below provide a logical set of questions that the Foresight team can ask of the relevant government departments.
I, and I hope all of you, look forward to the answers to these questions. I will send this piece to the Foresight Team at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as feedback to their BSAD process. In addition, the Academy of Medical Sciences has been asked by the Department of Health to provide a response to the BSAD report. This will be conducted under the leadership of Sir Gabriel Horn and I shall send him my paper and your commentary. If and when I get replies to these questions, I promise to let the readers of the Journal of Psychopharmacology know!
Corresponding author: D. J. Nutt, Psychopharmacology Unit, University of Bristol, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NY, UK.
© 2006 British Association for Psychopharmacology
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