The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Releases Comprehensive Guide Aimed at Improving Addiction Prevention and Treatment

Innovative New Resource Helps Policymakers Understand the Effects of Addiction and Risky Substance Use and How to Respond

Dec 03, 2015, 09:30 ET from The National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse

NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse announces the release of its new Guide for Policymakers: Prevention, Early Intervention and Treatment of Risky Substance Use and Addiction. This guide offers concrete, science-based recommendations of unprecedented breadth and depth for improving how policymakers working in all levels of government and in the health care, education, justice and social services systems can reduce addiction and risky substance use.

Substance use and addiction constitute one of the largest public health problems in the U.S. and abroad, causing or contributing to countless social consequences, medical conditions, and fatalities as well as costly health and justice expenditures. There is abundant evidence pointing to what works best and to the fact that thoughtful, well-implemented and research-based policies and programs can make a substantial difference.

The information presented in this guide is drawn from more than 20 years of work at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, as well as from the work of other leaders in the field. The guide defines specific actions for improving the prevention and treatment of risky substance use and addiction related to tobacco, alcohol, and illicit and controlled prescription drugs.  

"It's rare that a day goes by without seeing a major news story highlighting the significant challenges cities, states and the federal government face when it comes to combatting substance abuse and addiction," said Samuel A. Ball, PhD, President and CEO. "Policymakers and many current presidential candidates are seriously looking for solutions and this new guide offers them proven, research-based strategies for preventing and addressing the serious and often deadly problems associated with addiction, which affect individuals, families and society."

This guide contains resources and references for deeper examination of the issues and does not shy away from the more controversial topics, such as marijuana legalization, regulation of alternative nicotine products like e-cigarettes, medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, and reform of health care, education and justice systems.   

"When it comes to preventing and reducing addiction and risky substance use, we know that implementing effective policies can work," said Linda Richter, PhD, Director of Policy Research and Analysis at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, the report's lead author. "Policymakers have made great strides in reducing cigarette smoking, alcohol-related traffic fatalities and opioid overdose. These reductions all resulted from the implementation of research-based policies, which have helped improve public health and safety while reducing costs. But there's more work to be done."

Highlights of the guide include research-based measures to improve:

  • Prevention through public education and awareness, school- and community-based programming, and effective regulations that reduce the availability, accessibility and appeal of addictive substances
  • Early intervention for those at risk via routine screening and therapeutic interventions
  • Treatment, disease management and support for those with addiction

The guide is available for download at no cost and can be found on our website at: http://www.CASAColumbia.org/addiction-research/reports.    

About The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
We are a national nonprofit research and policy organization focused on improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of substance use and addiction. Founded in 1992 by former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Joseph A. Califano, Jr., our interdisciplinary experts collaborate with others to promote effective policies and practices. We conduct and synthesize research, inform and guide the public, evaluate and improve health care, and analyze and recommend policies on substance use and addiction. For more information, visit www.CASAColumbia.org.

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SOURCE The National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse



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