The Buzz: In Defense of Drug Addiction Research


This week, Jessica Palmer of Bioephemera posted an illuminating report on the politics that govern—and often hamper—scientific research for drug abuse treatment. In her post, Jessica points out, "research to help [cigarette] smokers quit is generally portrayed as necessary and important," but the media, politicians, and society at large view research for treatment of other drug addictions as "a waste of money." She posits that these "cheap shots" are easy to take because many people find it difficult to relate to drug addicts, resulting in a "knee-jerk lack of sympathy." In the following days, ScienceBloggers joined Jessica in expressing their outrage. Janet D. Stemwedel of Adventures in Ethics and Science responded, saying, "I'd rather we be a society that stands ready to help people change...It's not just in their interest, but in ours, too." DrugMonkey also responded, posting talking points from the Coalition to Protect Research's alert on "a growing strategy to bash drug-abuse science." Ultimately, Jessica, along with her blogger cohorts, placed emphasis on the importance of this research concluding that addiction to "crack, meth, etc. utterly destroys families and communities."

Links below the fold.


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