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Public Policy, Treatment

The public policy landscape surrounding treatment for substance use disorders within the United States has been shifting continuously for more than 150 years as countervailing scientific, religious, moralistic, and political forces wax and wane. Throughout our nation's history, public perceptions and policy have reflected profound ambivalence regarding substance use disorders. This ambivalence occurs at many levels and cannot simply be reduced to a question of whether addictive orders are a disease and should be treated as such or whether they are simply a form of moral depravity, hedonism, or selfishness.

Within the various groups that are party to the national policy dialogue, ambivalence is also prevalent. Some advocates of science-based approaches to addictions treatment sometimes still exhibit ambivalence regarding the use of medications for the treatment ...

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