From Denial to Acceptance: Drug Policy in Central and Eastern Europe Cover Image

A tagadástól az elfogadásig - régiós drogpolitikák
From Denial to Acceptance: Drug Policy in Central and Eastern Europe

Author(s): Péter Sárosi
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Globális Tudás Alapítvány

Summary/Abstract: In the states of the Soviet Bloc, the consumption of illegal drugs belonged in the category of social problems typically grouped among the crisis symptoms of “decaying capitalism,” characteristic only of decadent Western European youth. Drug consumption did not mesh with the notion of building the new type of man, homo sovieticus. Correspondingly, in the 1970s and 1980s, the drug policies of Central and Eastern European states were best characterized by denial: though the legislatures of individual countries ratified the United Nation’s three anti-drug conventions (in 1961, 1971 and 1988) and declared the distribution and possession of drugs for personal use a criminal offence, at the same time this was the full extent of the authorities’ activities in this area. The Iron Curtain was fairly efficient in inhibiting drug trafficking, but border and customs policies primarily sought to filter out the products of intellectual demoralization (books, leaflets, audio recordings, etc). Though illegal drugs, too, seeped in together with beat music and Coca-Cola, throughout the entire period of state socialism alcohol remained the foremost psychotropic substance. According to the official state ideology, deviances such as alcoholism and drug addiction were merely particular features of the class society, and hence society would gradually overcome them in the course of socialist development.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 03-04
  • Page Range: 133-154
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Hungarian