Since the 1970s, RAND has been studying ways to prevent and treat the abuse of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. RAND studies of substance use span populations, settings, and issues: from homeless youth to young adult war veterans; elementary schools to prisons; the public health implications of legalizing marijuana and the opioid epidemic.
Substance abuse often co-occurs with mental health conditions. RAND has examined expanding access to substance use treatment by integrating it into other care settings. Researchers examined the possibility of combining substance use care with primary care. Findings showed that these efforts led to patient improvements. To help in primary offices, researchers developed an intervention to help primary care providers deliver treatment for substance use disorders.