Behavioral and Economic Perspectives in Drug Abuse Research

Published in: Drug and Alcohol Dependence, v. 90, suppl. 1, Sep. 2007, p. S1-S3

by Yonette F. Thomas, Paul Schnur, Martin Y. Iguchi

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Research increasingly suggests the importance of studying drug abuse from the perspective of the behavior of individuals within the context of environments. Drug markets are a critical component of this context, one that has not received due research attention. To better understand drug markets, researchers must consider the entire range of factors that affect the decisions of sellers and drug users. Economic explanations may help elucidate decisions made by users to enter and stay in treatment. Although traditional econometric analyses of existing databases have contributed to the authors knowledge and continue to be supported, there is a deficit of new data. New and more adequate models are needed to better assess the use, desistance and substitution of drugs. This supplemental issue brings together multiple areas of inquiry including behavioral science, economics, and neuroscience, provides a critical review of existing research, identifies gaps and discusses priority areas for future research. The authors link macro- and micro-environmental factors such as drug markets and their contextual and market dynamics such as availability, price, and initiation to drug use, as well as articulating conceptual and methodological issues of importance when linking economics and psychology in addiction research.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.