of principal concern to this committee: strengthening research and data on enforcement strategies. The discussion in Chapter 5 stresses the need for research on how drug suppliers respond to enforcement policy and, more broadly, the need for research on the operation of drug markets. The discussion in Chapter 6 pays particular attention to both tine declarative and deterrent effects of sanctions against use of illegal drugs. Given the high rate of incarceration under current drug sentencing and its financial and human costs, such research is imperative.
In Chapter 7 the discussion turns to research on programs aimed at preventing or delaying drug use among children and youth. The widespread adoption of many prevention programs whose effects—beneficial or harmful—are unknown requires urgent research attention. Chapter 8 examines the use of randomized clinical trials to test the effectiveness of new treatment protocols in different settings, with diverse clients and for different types of drugs. Special attention is paid to the potential benefits and ethical problems of including no-treatment control groups in clinical trials.
Choosing the right mix of instruments to control the sale of illegal drugs and reduce their use presents complex policy problems: there are many different lines of attack. The committee believes that sustained and systematic research efforts such as those recommended here are essential if the nation is to have any hope of improving the quality of its decision making.