Age of criminal responsibility

Possession of drugs with the intention to supply them is a criminal offence in both U. K And Greece. However the age limits for the individual to be held criminally responsible varies in the two countries. The age limit is ten years for U. K whereas it is 13 years for Greece (ELDD, 2003). Treatment of offenders whose crime has been found to be drug-related In U. K, the treatment of individuals whose crime has been found to be drug related is given more preference over their punishment. In UK the individual can be directed by law to undergo treatment whereas in Greece there are no such provisions.

Treatment is offered to only those individuals who voluntarily ask for it. However, under a new law introduced in Greece in the year 1999, steps are been taken to set up special treatment centers for the addicted prisoners Guggenbuhl, Uchtenhagen, & Fabian, 2000). The Greece government has been recently developing a national policy which would adopt less severe approach towards the drug addicts. Total cost of treatment and care of addiction The proportion of the National annual budget devoted for drug abuse treatment and care is quite small in Greece compared with that of UK (Rehm, Guggenbuhl, & Uchtenhagen, 2000).

Conclusion Drug addiction is a complex problem which can not only have a profound impact on the physical and psychological health of an individual, but can cause significant disruption of social relationships of an individual. Abuse of drugs by the young people can act as a major detrimental factor against progress of our society and harms the society on the whole. Use of drugs encourages the growth of crime and violence in the community. Increased costs related to healthcare, prevention of drug related crime, costs related to prisons and criminal justice can form a big burden on the economy of any country.

It is important to understand that an individual abusing drugs is not a criminal, he is suffering from a disease. The society needs to make a joint effort to help such individuals achieve abstinence. With further advancements in the field of science and technology, more effective treatment of dug addiction and development of safer drugs which could be medically prescribed in future would be helpful in reducing the problem of addiction in our society.


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