Substance Use


Substance use touches on many facets of public policy, including health and health care, economic issues, criminal justice, and risk behaviors—particularly among youth. Accordingly, RAND conducts drug policy research that addresses a range of concerns, from treatment effectiveness, harm reduction, drug markets and supply, and predictors and consequences to evaluations of programs to prevent youth from using and abusing drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

  • Tablets and powder under a magnifying glass, photo by Andrey Bukreev/Getty Images


    A New and More Dangerous Drug Market Requires a New Approach

    Synthetic opioids are likely to increasingly reach illegal drug markets. Failure to recognize and respond to how rapidly drug markets have changed with the arrival of illegally manufactured synthetic opioids will continue to put many at risk of exposure to fentanyl, endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands more Americans for years to come.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • A woman reaches for a bottle of alcohol in a store, photo by Kanawa_Studio/Getty Images

    News Release

    Alcohol Consumption Among Men Declined During Pandemic; Men and Women Report More Alcohol-Related Problems

    Alcohol consumption during the coronavirus pandemic declined among men, while it remained steady among women. Researchers found that alcohol-related problems increased during the pandemic, by 49% for women and 69% for men, but the reasons for the problems remain unclear.

    Jan 24, 2022

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