Education and Training

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.

Tackling Stigma and Building Advocacy

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.

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