RAND Drug Policy Research Center

Addressing today’s most pressing substance use issues. Informing the drug policy of the future.

Opioids, cannabis, injectables and alcohol drug concept collage

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Substance use and efforts to influence it are the subject of serious policy debates around the world.

For more than 30 years, the RAND Drug Policy Research Center has conducted research to help decisionmakers in the United States and abroad address issues involving alcohol and other drugs. In doing so, the Center brings an objective and data-driven perspective to this often emotional and fractious policy arena.

Our team of experts includes those from many fields such as medicine, statistics, economics, psychology, sociology, law, criminal justice, decision science, and public policy. We are all committed to improving the health, social, and economic well-being of populations and communities throughout the world.

Research Highlights

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Recent Commentaries

  • Treat Psychedelics Like Cannabis?

    Similar to cannabis a decade ago, the United States is in the early days of legalizing some psychedelics for nonmedical purposes. Now is the time to make thoughtful choices.

  • Political Manifestos Should Do Better Than “Legalise It”

    After years of political deadlock, a new era for drug policy in the Netherlands seems to be on the horizon. At least two factors are increasing politicians' appetite for change: increased awareness of the problems of drug-related organized crime in the Netherlands, and Dutch drug policy no longer being ahead of the curve.

  • Therapeutic Use of Psychedelics in Treating PTSD and Depression Among Veterans

    Clinical trials have shown that psychedelics can have a positive effect on mental health conditions like PTSD or depression for some people. Enthusiasm for these treatments has grown among veterans and providers who work with military populations. The VA should invest in research and provide guidance on psychedelics.

Explore all Drug Policy and Trends Commentaries See more

RAND DPRC Research Making an Impact

The RAND Drug Policy Research Center was created to take a comprehensive look at big-picture issues involving drug policies to examine how they evolved and provide insight on how they might change in the future. Our research efforts to improve alcohol and other drug policies around the world have led to a number of salient accomplishments.

  • Evolution of the U.S. Overdose Crisis

    Bryce Pardo testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on the role of synthetic opioids in the U.S. overdose crisis.

  • Cannabis Legalization in Canada

    Beau Kilmer provided testimony to the Canadian legislature on different alternatives to prohibition, including considerations for prices, taxes, and international implications.