Drug Policy and Human Nature

Psychological Perspectives on the Prevention, Management, and Treatment of Illicit Drug Abuse

  • Warren K. Bickel
  • Richard J. DeGrandpre

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Informing Drug Policy via Psychological Science: Basic Research in Drug Abuse and Its Determinants

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Warren K. Bickel, Richard J. DeGrandpre
      Pages 31-52
  3. Informing Drug Policy via Psychological Science: Changing Drug Use

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 53-53
    2. Brenna H. Bry
      Pages 55-76
    3. Sharon M. Hall, H. Westley Clark, Karen Lea Sees
      Pages 77-98
  4. Informing Drug Policy via Psychological Science: Innovations in Treatment Services

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. A. Thomas McLellan, Constance Weisner
      Pages 127-154
  5. The Psychology of Drug Policy: Psychological Assumptions behind Policy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
    2. Robert MacCoun, Jonathan Caulkins
      Pages 177-197
  6. The Psychology of Drug Policy: Social and Cultural Factors Influencing Drug Policy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 249-249
    2. B. K. Alexander, Anton R. F. Schweighofer, Gary A. Dawes
      Pages 251-278
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 323-326

About this book


The formation of drug policy is a complex phenomena influenced by a multi­ tude of sources. Among others, these influences include historical factors, contemporary public opinion regarding the nature and magnitude of drug use and abuse, the portrayal of illicit drugs and drug use in the media, and lobbying efforts by special interest groups (e. g. , The Drug Policy Foundation), including government agencies (e. g. , the Justice Department and law enforcement). An additional source of influence are the activities of specialists directly engaged in studying drug use and treating drug dependence. This includes individuals involved in drug treatment, anthropological and cultural studies, policy analy­ ses, basic psychological and pharmacological research, research on the epide­ miology of drug use and dependence, and research on prevention. This influ­ ence by specialists might be usefully distinguished from those influences first mentioned for two reasons: First, studies of drug use and dependence attempt to uncover empirical generalizations about drugs, and second, because these findings are empirical, there is a hope that they guide, at least to some extent, the actions of other forces that more directly determine drug policy. Psychology as an empirical discipline has long been interested in the use of psychoactive drugs. At the level of basic science in psychopharmacology, a most important contribution has been the demonstration that drugs of abuse function as reinforcers and thus enter into the same psychological processes as do other appetitive stimuli.

Editors and affiliations

  • Warren K. Bickel
    • 1
  • Richard J. DeGrandpre
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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