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Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care:
doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000176046.87147.c5
Session 1

A Rational Approach to Formulating Public Policy on Substance Abuse

Trunkey, Donald D. MD; Bonnono, Carol RN, CEN

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Unlike alcohol, which is legal and regulated, current public policy makes drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana illegal. This article summarizes the history of drug and alcohol use in the United States, compares our public policies on alcohol to those on drugs, and shows the direct link between alcohol or drug use and crime, corruption, violence, and health problems in other countries and in our own. A rational approach to formulating a workable public policy is presented.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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