Drug Policy Effects on Rates of Drug-Related Illnesses

Using drugs, whether legal or illegal, can produce both intended and unintended effects, including but not limited to illness and death of users. Among the many detrimental outcomes of drug use noted by the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Data and Research for Policy and Illegal Drugs are physical and mental illnesses suffered by users; diseases transmitted to others; and healthcare costs associated with drug-related illnesses and injuries.

These outcomes, as well as many others, are costs associated with drug use. Ideally, federal drug policy aims to reduce these costs, primarily by reducing the use of drugs that cause these outcomes. Unfortunately, data on drug use trends do not show decline in use since the founding of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) ...

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