The Deputy Prime Minister has called for recognition that every part of public life should be part of the war against drugs.
John Prescott said that the only way to tackle the drug menace successfully was to look at every aspect of society including housing and employment, as well as family life.
Speaking at a United Nations drug summit in New York, he said: “To coin a phrase, we need to be tough on drugs crime and tough on the causes of drugs crime.”
He said that while his Government was spending ?1.4 billion a year on drug-related activity, the cost to society in terms of crime and sickness was estimated at three to four billion pounds a year.
He said that every nation needed to demonstrate its commitment and co-operation to finding a solution to the drugs problem.