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Drug Policy Effects on Rates of Use

  • By: Marcella Bush Trevino
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

The U.S. government's “War on Drugs” arose from the growing epidemic of drug use in the 1960s and 1970s. U.S. drug policy focused on enforcement, prevention, and treatment, with the bulk of federal and law enforcement resources going into enforcement of drug offenses and drug-related crimes. All of these three components of drug policy have impacted rates of drug use in the United States. Social changes have also resulted in changes in the types of drugs used, drug use populations, and patterns of drug use over time. Drug policy may have helped reduce the country's overall drug usage rates, but drug availability and drug abuse remain national problems.

Drug Enforcement Policy

U.S. drug policy, with its emphasis on strict enforcement of severe drug laws, has contributed to ...

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