Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A Brief History of British Drug Policy, 1950-2001
Authors: Yates, Rowdy
Contact Email:
Issue Date: May-2002
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Informa Healthcare)
Citation: Yates R (2002) A Brief History of British Drug Policy, 1950-2001, Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 9 (2), pp. 113-124.
Abstract: Following the establishment of the so-called “New British System” (based on the recommendations of the Rolleston Committee in 1926), numbers of recorded opiate and cocaine addicts fell significantly in the early 1930s and remained stable and at a relatively low level for the next two decades. It was in the latter part of the 1950s that reports of a new drug “epidemic” began to circulate. Concerns centred on the use of drugs by ethnic minorities, notably black West Indians and Africans in ‘blues clubs’ and visiting black American musicians in jazz clubs. Once again the drugs epidemic was associated with jazz (“jungle”) music and colour. By the end of the 1960s, young white teenagers had become involved too and the world had seen the student riots in Paris; the birth of Swinging London with its attendant Merseybeat; the hippy revolution in San Francisco; and a growing youth protest, both in the USA and Britain, over western military involvement in Vietnam. Politicians and journalists invariably associated these events with the use of drugs by young people. Over the last four decades of the 20th Century, the use of drugs by young people (and the attendant treatment industry) has grown exponentially and the focus has moved from individual treatment to public health and infection control to the current preoccupation with drugs/crime connection. This brief history attempts to summarise these developments in a short article chronicling the major milestones and events.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the journal, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, Volume 9, No. 2, 2002, © Informa UK Ltd.: Published in Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. Copyright: Informa UK Ltd. The definitive version is available at; Published in Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. Copyright: Taylor & Francis (Informa Healthcare). This is an electronic version of an article published in Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, Volume 9, Issue 2, May 2002, pp. 113 - 124. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy is available online at:
Affiliation: Sociology/Social Pol&Criminology

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
1950-2001.pdf127.07 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.