Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Your RPS

RPS president speaks at Manchester street drugs debate

Pharmacists are ideally situated to offer non-judgemental support to those addicted to illegal drugs, Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), has said.

Soni was speaking at Street Drugs in the Northern Powerhouse: Perspective and Policy, a debate held at the University of Manchester on 28 March 2018.

While pointing out that RPS policy does not support the legalisation of “street drugs”, Soni said that illegal drug use might be better viewed as primarily a public health matter rather than a criminal issue. A focus on treatment of addiction, rather than criminalisation of the user, would encourage more illegal drug users to seek help.

People frequently misuse drugs because of vulnerabilities in mental or physical health, or arising from their personal lives, he said, adding that such people need help to deal with these vulnerabilities – the ultimate cause of drug misuse. Fear of prosecution may deter illegal drug users from seeking help for their addiction.

Pharmacists, Soni said, are viewed by patients as non-judgemental and are, therefore, in a good position to support users of illegal drugs. There is, he said, an opportunity for pharmacists to help people dealing with illegal drug addiction in the same way as they help smokers and those addicted to prescription drugs.

“We treat users as criminals, but they need support to get off these things. Most smokers want to quit, and illegal drug users are no different,” he said.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204671

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Handbook of Drug Administration via Enteral Feeding Tubes

    Handbook of Drug Administration via Enteral Feeding Tubes

    All you need to know about prescribing or administering drugs via enteral feeding tubes. Over 400 drug monographs as well as facts to inform clinical decision making.

    £54.00Buy now
  • Drugs in Use

    Drugs in Use

    Optimise drug therapy for your patients. These case studies help you bridge the gap between theoretical medicines knowledge and practical applications.

    £43.00Buy now
  • Palliative Care Formulary (PCF6)

    Palliative Care Formulary (PCF6)

    Palliative Care Formulary is a comprehensive combination of independent information about drugs used in palliative care.

    £55.00Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Injectable Drugs Guide

    Injectable Drugs Guide

    A user friendly, single point of reference for healthcare professionals in the safe and effective administration of injectable medicines.

    £54.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
PJJ Static MPU
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.