Synthesizing Lessons for Drug Policy and Policy Research

Award Year:
Jonathan Caulkins
Drug Policy
America's drug problem is more severe than that of any other developed country, whether measured by number of addicts, overdose deaths, drug-related HIV-infections, or drug-related violence. That's why it's critical for America's drug control strategies to be firmly rooted in objective evidence of what works and what doesn't work, and, also, when certain policies are appropriate and when they are not. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. Jonathan P. Caulkins, Ph.D. brings in evidence and analytical methods from several academic disciplines to understand why it's so difficult to eradicate the scourge of illegal drugs, and why so many efforts to combat drug use have a negligible impact. His project, Synthesizing Lessons for Drug Policy and Policy Research, seeks to inform the increasingly polarized debate on fighting drug abuse with a fresh approach that offers practical steps for confronting the problem. He is particularly interested in the fact that drug policies tend to be static while they need to be dynamic, designed from the onset to evolve in response to changes in the nature of the threat.