Germany underwent a sociolegal process from strict drug prohibition to a multi-focus approach: harsh repression of drug supply and specific treatment against consumption. Criminal law now opens pathways to four different manners of demand reduction by treatment: commitment to closed forensic hospitals, combination of probation or parole with a treatment order, treatment within penitentiaries and deferring indictment or punishment in favour of treatment. Although each of these modalities represents coerced treatment, the methods are diverse and can be of the drug-free or maintenance type as well as in- or out-patient treatment. Evidently there are conceptual and implementation problems to each of these strategies. But all in all they represent the insight that drug behaviour can only be changed by public health measures rather than by criminal law as such.

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