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.

  • Article

    Illegal Opioids Are Hurting Too Many of Us. We Need a New Approach

    Fatal overdoses are on the rise in the United States, with the proliferation of potent, synthetic opioids like illicit fentanyl. But deaths are just the tip of America's iceberg-sized opioid crisis. To save and improve lives, policymakers will need to take a holistic approach. People who use opioids and their families should be at the heart of this new response.

    Mar 16, 2023

  • Commentary

    Everyone Over 21 Has a 'License to Drink.' When Should It Get Suspended?

    Excessive drinking creates massive economic costs because of its effects on workplace productivity, health care expenditures, and crime. This raises the question: Should some people be required to stop drinking?

    Mar 11, 2023

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