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E.G. Gasanov

This and many other very interesting materials have been published in the book "Drug Abuse: Tendencies and Ways to Overcome It (based on materials of the Republic of Azerbaijan)" (Мoscow: "JurInfoR" Educational and Consulting Center, 1998)

Drug abuse is an extremely complicated and socially dangerous phenomenon in the present-day world. It is very hard to estimate the damage it has done. Its consequences range from the moral degradation of drug addicts and their inclination to commit crimes, to the decline in society's material, technical and intellectual potentials. Narcotic trade deforms the distribution of material wealth as a result of money laundering, and of the criminals' penetration of government in order to influence policy-making and guide it in their interests.

Narcotics continue to infiltrate society thanks to the efforts of drug dealers. Law-enforcement measures and scientific breakthroughs in fighting drug addiction lag behind the spread of drugs. The criminals find ingenious ways of deriving maximum profit from narco-business, by-passing legislation and corrupting government officials.

Enormous material resources are required to combat narcotics effectively but most countries lack them. The largest sum of money for this purpose is allocated in the United States where narco-business is considered to be the pivot of organized crime. Only a few countries can afford to build up and maintain the large network of services of well-paid and trained officers capable of combating narcotics professionally. Some countries have to carry out an assault on the criminal drug dealers relying on ingenuity, rather than on numerical strength. They have to seek, select, develop and use rational, inexpensive and at the same time effective methods specifically targeted at the most vulnerable spots of narco-business. It is extremely important therefore to constantly perfect these methods. Apart from being effective, they should also be cost effective. However, this seems to be as hard to achieve as finding a cure against cancer.

Quite a few scholarly studies published and unpublished, have dealt with the subject of drug abuse. Since the immensity of the problem is obvious, every such study cannot possibly cover all the aspects of narcotics that existed at the moment of its completion.

This book discusses many ways and means in fighting narcotics. It is a contribution to scholarship and to practical work. It examines fundamental principles of the anti-drug action particularly the criminal aspects of drug addiction.

The author shows the chronological sequence of events connected with the development of drug abuse and the campaigns against it. He singles out and reveals tendencies of drug abuse and ways of overcoming it. Statistical and analytical approaches have allowed for a deeper look at the problem.

The author stresses key factors in overcoming drug abuse - the need to reduce the demand for drugs by helping addicts to get rid of their dependence on them, and by checking all the available means, attempts to launder the money obtained from the sale of narcotics.

The international aspect of this study features the contents of international legal acts on narcotics and quotes several effective recommendations developed by the world community and tested in practice. The domestic aspect provides an analysis of the administrative norms and of the criminal law regulating the suppression and prevention of narcotics. The criminological aspect deals with measures designed to prevent drug abuse. And, finally, the organizational aspect deals with the various steps taken at various levels for the purpose of ending drug abuse.

All the readers who have interest in this phenomenon will find ample information not only about the dangerous nature of narcotics but also about the many ways of handling it.

P. Ponomaryov, Ph. D. (Law), Professor.
The head of the Study Center at the Russian Federation's Ministry of Internal Affairs

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