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October 5, 1994

Hindsight and New Data Converge on Drug Policy

JAMA. 1994;272(13):992-993. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520130024007

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TREATMENT was the star when drug policy advisers from the Nixon through Clinton administrations gathered for the first time ever.

The event was a symposium on "White House Drug Abuse Policy: Historical Perspectives, Lessons Learned, and Implications for Health Care Reform," sponsored by Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, Calif, and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine.

It came on the heels of two studies (not published in journals), one by the state of California and one by RAND, Santa Monica, Calif, both of which conclude that treatment is highly cost-effective in reducing the consumption and consequences of illegal drugs.

Cost consciousness is going to be key in fighting drug abuse, especially now that health system reform is being driven primarily by market forces, says John F. Alksne, MD, vice chancellor and health sciences dean at the UCSD School of Medicine. "We have to choose preventions that

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