Views of substance use in the US are based largely on folklore and myth rather than science, and are often wrong. How can we change this?
US drug laws, as well as traditional methods of helping people with substance use problems, are based largely on moral, religious and political perspectives on substance use, not on solid science. For example, NIAAA has published data showing that most people with drinking problems resolve them by moderating their drinking, yet most treatment programs (also contrary to evidence on the impact of patient choice on treatment outcomes) mandate abstinence as the only goal of treatment. How can we overcome this reliance on non-scientific knowledge, often resulting in detrimental effects on person subjected to these views (e.g. disproportionate impact of drug laws on minorities, low levels of treatment utilization by people with substance use problems)?