This study aims to map alternatives to coercive sanctions (ACS) for drug law offences and drug-related crimes that are available under the law in each EU member state and describe the use of these sanctions in practice. This was complemented by a review of international research on the effectiveness of ACS in reducing reoffending and drug use. For this study, building upon the EU Action Plan on Drugs 2013-2016, ACS were defined as measures that had some rehabilitative element or that constituted a non-intervention (for example, deciding not to charge or prosecute), as well as those used instead of prison or other punishment (for example, a suspended sentence with drug treatment). Further details of the measures included within the definition of ACS can be found in Section 1.2. This study builds upon a report produced by the EMCDDA (2015) on alternatives to punishment for drug-using offenders, widening the scope of that study by including a broader range of sanctions and by looking at practice in each member state in more detail.
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