By Sarah G. Mars (auth.)

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Extra resources for The Politics of Addiction: Medical Conflict and Drug Dependence in England since the 1960s

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Both authors also considered the emergence of ecstasy and the widespread dance drug phenomenon of the late 1980s and 1990s as a major development, which Yates claimed had ‘made existing drug treatment services almost irrelevant’. 122−126 Stimson and Lart noted the traditions of British policymaking which continued into the 1970s, reached through committees where debate was characterised by politeness and an absence of politics. Policy was made in private through accommodation between experts and civil servants, as exemplified by the ACMD, set up in 1971.

The Patient’s Charter (1991) outlined patients’ consumer rights for the first time, although it was more symbolic and rhetorical in significance than in actually producing change. 109 Consumerism was also a popular theme with New Labour, appealing as it did across employees and employers, the constituents of ‘old’ Labour and the New Right. With the rejection of competition as the spur of change in the NHS, the managerialism of the early and mid-1980s was revived in the late 1990s. The new National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was set up to assemble and disseminate evidence in good practice guidelines and policy advice.

97 Furthermore, the option of diverting drug users into treatment rather than prison had become government policy as long ago as 1990 in the White Paper Crime, Justice and Protecting the Public. 98 Furthermore, Stimson overlooked the potentially coercive role of public health, which has used powers of compulsory quarantine and notification. 99 The distinction between ‘voluntary’ and ‘statutory’ had become somewhat blurred in the last quarter of the 20th century by government funding of voluntary sector organisations.

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