Drugs: researchers shouldn’t just focus on the harms

Most research is preoccupied with problematic drug use, ignoring the fact that most people who use drugs don’t develop problems
The Conversation (UK)
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Most drug research focuses on the harms they cause, but studying the pleasure they provide will improve our understanding of why people use them. Among other things, this knowledge could be used to help people who develop drug problems, such as dependency. These people have often experienced significant trauma in their lives and use drugs to self-medicate. If we knew more about how this self-medication worked, we could radically transform our approach to treatment. By concentrating research funding on problems people develop rather than investigating motives and benefits of drug use, research has contributed to a distorted view of drugs and the people that use them.