Curbing the advance of drug abuse is of course a worthy topic for drug addiction research, but if we have learned anything in the last 40-50 years it is that no amount of research is necessarily going to have any impact on the problem. That seems counter-intuitive on the surface, but in reality research does not have any significant impact on human choice.
In the face of an ever-increasing tide of drug addiction, overdoses and the serious implications on public health, there is ample research to not only document the trends, but explain in great detail exactly what is going on. A trip to the National Institute on Drug Abuse web site will quickly connect you with research on any given topic, or a search on Google will likewise render a wealth of sources.
The Surgeon General put warning labels on cigarettes in the 1960’s, but people still smoke and they still suffer smoking-related illnesses. They also still sue the tobacco companies. Take for example “global warming” and all of the conversation that has taken place over the years. What began as a scientific research project has turned into a political debate. If you are a republican, you see it this way. If you are a democrat, you see it that way.
Research is meaningless when it is thrown out of the window and denied by the most powerful voices in the country. No amount of research can stand up to the loudest lie, because people believe what they want to believe. People do what they want and use “research” to support it. For example, is marijuana addictive? That depends on who you talk to. Is there a cure for alcoholism?
It all comes down to what you want to know, or how much you want to know. What Al Gore would describe as an “inconvenient truth,” others may declare as an outright falsehood. Not only is it false, but people who believe it are stupid. The truth is irrelevant. Drug addiction research clearly shows that people who suffer from addiction should not partake in their drug of choice, yet that simple fact is denied by those who WANT to use.
The idea of cutting back is much more palatable than actually stopping the behavior that is killing you. It’s human nature. I don’t believe you, so you’re wrong. When the 18th amendment was passed, it was intended to rescue the country from alcohol addiction, but we all know what happened next—bathtub gin, criminal organizations, and through it all people still drank. It didn’t work because people were forced to obey a law they didn’t want or care to follow.
If the science of addiction matters, then you can find ample information at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/researchers. Just scroll through the topics and begin where you like. You will quickly learn that addiction is a complex disease that changes the brain. From there, the paths are many and the information is vast. It gets back to how much you want or need to know.