Over the centuries, drugs have played a role in many people's everyday life, they have become part of many cultures in a controlled and, therefore, socially accepted way. Today, on the other hand, this balance has been lost. The explosion of the mass-market, supplied by large criminal organisations, has amplified its spread, turning drug use into a problem for individuals and for the community. But how extensive is this phenomenon? And who are the drug-addicts? Today, the spread of drugs is serious enough to require therapeutic intervention and integrated legislation, which aims to overcome the contrast between prohibitionists and anti-prohibitionists. In addition, the action of rehabilitation centres and communities must take into account different realities - from the new synthetic drugs to cocaine, from addiction to simple use -, in order to be successful, and to stimulate the drug-addict to recover his/her strength to come back to life.
Simonetta Piccone Stella teaches Sociology at "La Sapienza" University in Rome.