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Dramatic scientific advances over the past two decades have revolutionized our understanding of Drug Use and Addiction. Foremost among these advances is a clear understanding that drug use is a preventable behavior and that drug addiction and alcoholism is a treatable disease of the brain. This paradigm shift in our understanding of drug use and other addictions has come in large part because of comprehensive research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Research has shown that drug use is a double-edged health issue as well as a societal issue. It affects both the health of the individual and the health of the public. The use of drugs has well-known and severe negative consequences for both mental and physical health. However, drug use and addiction also have tremendous negative implications for the health of the public because drug use, directly or indirectly, is a major factor in violent crimes and is a vector for the transmission of serious infectious diseases; particularly AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis. Because addiction is such a complex and pervasive health issue, we believe our overall strategies must include a committed comprehensive health approach that includes extensive education and prevention efforts, treatment, and research.
The purpose of Rimrock Foundation’s Facts Sheets is to report the newest technologies for prevention and treatment approaches in reducing the devastating health and societal effects of drug use and addiction. In addition to vigorously pursuing basic and emerging research, Rimrock also ensures the rapid and effective transfer of the latest scientific findings to policymakers, drug addiction practitioners, other health care practitioners, and the general public.
With drug use typically beginning at an earlier age than ever before, Rimrock is now dedicating a large portion of its publishing efforts to reporting the effects that Drug Use and Addictions have on infants, children, and adolescents. Prevention serves as the cornerstone of this initiative. We believe drug addiction, like other health conditions, such as high blood pressure and depression, is a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain that is treatable. Supported research described in these Fact Sheets outline our progress toward more effective prevention and treatment of drug addiction.
Hugh Kilbourne, Editor in Chief