Just Say 'Research': Antidrug Program Stresses Science

SPREADING THE WORD: Materials developed by NIDA use a neuroscience approach to teach students about the dangers of drug abuse. A new program from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), "Mind Over Matter," is using neuroscience research results to teach, rather than preach to, students about the dangers of addictive drugs. "People have historically seen drug abuse as purely a social problem that results from voluntary behavior and remains voluntary. But science has taught us that addictio

Ricki Lewis
Feb 1, 1998

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SPREADING THE WORD: Materials developed by NIDA use a neuroscience approach to teach students about the dangers of drug abuse.
A new program from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), "Mind Over Matter," is using neuroscience research results to teach, rather than preach to, students about the dangers of addictive drugs. "People have historically seen drug abuse as purely a social problem that results from voluntary behavior and remains voluntary. But science has taught us that addiction is expressed in a behavioral way [and] comes about from the result that drugs have on the brain," says NIDA director Alan Leshner. The program will help fulfill the December 1997 recommendation of the Institute of Medicine's Committee to Identify Strategies to Raise the Profile of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism Research that the science of addiction be more prominent in curricula, from elementary school to medical school.

Neuroscience-based teaching about drug addiction...

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