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Drug Addiction

In Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and the Road to Recovery, M.D. Barry Stimmel (2002) argues that drug addiction or substance abuse is “a complex, serious and treatable condition” (3). Drug addiction treatment is often viewed with skepticism by politicians, policymakers, and the public, who view such treatment as ineffective at reducing the demand for drugs or rehabilitating substance abusers. However, the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) argues “Addiction treatment works. That much we know,” (Hunsicker 1997, 5). That addiction treatment works and is effective were beliefs at the core of the Hughes Act, signed by Richard M. Nixon, establishing the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Treatment protocols and policies flourished, with public and private reimbursement available.

Beginning in the 1980s, rising crime rates, a public skeptical of rehabilitation, and politicians keen to gain public approval by looking tough on drugs caused a paradigm shift in U.S. drug policies, including rehabilitation and treatment resources. In Drug Addiction and Drug Policy, Mark H. Moore discusses drug-prevention strategy and policy in U.S. society. His essay provides insight into why rehabilitation policies and protocols are seldom favored by contemporary policymakers. Conservatives or those on the right politically tend to favor “zero tolerance” policies and those designed to “reduce the supply” (Heymann and Brownsberger 2001, 18). Liberals or those on the left politically tend to favor “harm reduction” policies and those aimed at “reducing the demand” (Heymann et al. 2001, 18). The views of the right have been dominant in U.S. society since the 1980s. Those on the right also favor “supply reduction and drug law enforcement over prevention and treatment” (Heymann et al. 2001, 18).

Drug addiction takes an enormous toll on society, including billions of dollar...

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Drug Addiction. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:06, July 01, 2022, from