Conversations at RAND: A Policy Circle Event

Is America's War on Drugs Really Over?

cocaine use


April 7, 2010


8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


RAND Corporation
Pittsburgh, PA

Join the Conversation

In May 2009, President Obama's "drug czar" announced that we should no longer use the War on Drugs analogy and has since made it clear that there is an "urgent need to focus our resources on the best, research-tested practices" to reduce drug use. Recent RAND research assesses developments in the global market for illicit drugs and has examined the degree to which drug policy has impacted drug problems. Here in Pennsylvania, legislation is pending that would allow marijuana use for medical purposes. Have adults become more accepting of drug use, thus making it even more difficult for our young people to resist the temptation to experiment with drugs?

Join us as we discuss the trends in drug use and promising new directions for managing drug abuse and reducing the harms associated with drug use and drug policies in Pittsburgh and throughout the country.

Featured Speakers

Neil Capretto

Neil Capretto has served as medical director at Gateway Rehabilitation Center since 1998 and full-time psychiatrist with Gateway since 1989. Prior to joining Gateway, Capretto was the chief of medical staff of the Beaver County Community Mental Health Center and the first medical director of Psychiatry at the Medical Center, Beaver, PA. He has also been used on numerous occasions as a consultant for local media, the National Football League, ABC and NBC news, the New York Times, People Magazine, and Lifetime Television.

Beau Kilmer

Beau Kilmer is codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. His primary fields of interest are illicit markets, community corrections, drug treatment, and technologies that enable what he calls DIRECT surveillance (Drug and alcohol use Information from REmote and Continuous Testing). He is currently working on several related projects at RAND: Improving data on illegal drug markets and drug-related crime in Europe; identifying the community-level effects of drug treatment; and conducting a cost-effectiveness analysis of a brief voluntary alcohol and drug intervention for middle school youth. He is an assistant editor for Addiction and the coeditor of the new Journal of Drug Policy Analysis.


Evan Frazier

Evan Frazier is senior vice president for Highmark Inc. In that capacity, he oversees community affairs for Pennsylvania's largest health care insurance provider with subsidiary companies that operate across the United States. Frazier oversees activities that include Highmark's corporate giving, sponsorships, event marketing, volunteerism, select community health initiatives, and the Highmark Foundation. Prior to joining Highmark Inc., for six years Frazier served as president and CEO of the Hill House Association, one of Southwestern Pennsylvania's most important and comprehensive community service agencies.

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