Barrier: Lack of Education
Launch a campaign to educate the public and others in the medical and scientific communities about the commonalities among addictive drugs.
Emphasize the importance of addiction research and its accomplishments.
Stress the complex nature of addiction—that it is a chronic, relapsing disease involving fundamental changes in brain circuitry.
Encourage school- and community-based programs to address issues of addiction at age-appropriate levels.
Promote the education of science writers through press conferences and public symposia.
Encourage private and public funding of efforts to develop educational programs for schools, adult education programs, educational computer programs, or other media communications.
Encourage the development of educational materials for undergraduate-level courses.
Educate the public and professionals about myths versus scientific clinical facts regarding addiction.
Barrier: Lack of Advocacy
Build advocacy groups from families of nicotine, alcohol, and illegal drug users.
Emphasize what works and why and link research and treatment to other areas.
Involve private foundations, industry, universities, and other organizations as well as M.D./Ph.D. scientist leaders to translate research findings and new clinical developments into lay terms.
Increase communications with media to report timely, accurate, and reliable information about research findings.
Disseminate scientific information to the public.
Forge an alliance between local citizens' groups and scientists to conduct symposia.