The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (July 2020)
A drug house is a residence used in the illegal drug trade. Drug houses shelter drug users and provide a place for drug dealers to supply them. Drug houses can also be used as laboratories to synthesize (cook) drugs, or cache ingredients and product.
The strongest industry in some ghettos is the illegal drug trade. Abandoned buildings ravaged by arson or neglect are utilized by drug dealers since they are free, obscure, secluded and there is no paper trail in the form of rent receipts. The sale of illegal drugs often draws violent crime to afflicted neighborhoods, sometimes exacerbating the exodus of residents. In some cases, enraged citizens have burned crack houses to the ground, in hopes that by destroying the sites for drug operations they would also drive the illegal industries from their neighborhoods. Many major American ghettos contain crack houses.
Strong legislation in England and Wales provides a mechanism for police and local authorities to close crack houses which have been associated with disorder or serious nuisance. Often, these crack houses have been found in social housing, which has been taken over by drug dealers and users.
Laws such as the crack house closure order were designed to disrupt Class A drug dealing and anecdotal evidence suggests that it mainly affects socially housed tenants. The effect is that once an order is made, the premises are boarded up, and no one may enter the premises, initially for a period of three months, but this can be extended to six months on the application of the police.
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