The changing state of drug policy

In a new commentary Robert DuPont, MD, president of the Institute for Behavior and Health, discusses the need to develop innovative policies and programmes that reduce the use of drugs while providing assistance, including quality treatment that achieves long-term recovery.

While the biology of addiction has not changed, drug use has changed dramatically over the past half century. Marijuana has been transformed both in potency and delivery in the time since the peak of its use in the US in 1978.  The addiction landscape has also changed as a result of the nonmedical use of legal prescription drugs. The drug epidemic continues to evolve in complex ways even as the public attitudes toward the use of drugs are shifting. The US – and the world – is at a crossroads in drug policy today with two oppositional perspectives on the future of drug policy.