Drug research ignores stable or pleasurable use — And that’s a problem

Too often, drug research proceeds from the assumption that self-regulated drug use is unlikely or extraordinarily rare
Filter (US)
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

In the United States and beyond, drug research ignores most people who use drugs. While the large majority of people who use drugs (PWUD) do not suffer from substance use disorders (anywhere from 80-90 percent), research in the field predominantly focuses on the minority experience of harmful use. In part, this is an issue of the needs and urgency surrounding severe substance use disorders. At the same time, it is also an issue of funding. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), which funds around 80 percent of all drug research around the world, has the stated goal of funding research on “drug abuse and addiction.” The question of what drug research is “fundable” and/or “publishable” in this context incentivizes researchers to continue to do more research on the harms of drugs.