“Recovery leadership rules with heart. ” William White
As the second White House “Drug Czar” and the first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. DuPont was in the midst of a concerted effort by President Nixon and Congress to address the rising heroin and marijuana epidemics of the 1960s and 70s.
He was recently asked by the Nixon Foundation to discuss his unique perspective on the 50th anniversary of the July 14th, 1969 Special Message to the Congress on Control of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, in which Nixon insisted that “A national awareness of the gravity of the situation is needed; a new urgency and concerted national policy are needed at the Federal level to begin to cope with this growing menace to the general welfare of the United States.”
Looking back, Dr. DuPont sees Nixon’s Message as a “remarkable document” that anticipated and drove the development of many aspects and institutions of research, law enforcement, treatment, and international cooperation that still form the core of US drug policy to this day.
In particular, Dr. DuPont observes that Nixon’s Message broke new ground in two areas that were key in Dr. DuPont’s own career: the recognition that law enforcement and treatment are synergistic rather than competing components of effective drug policy, and the promotion of medically-assisted treatment (MAT), which Dr. DuPont helped pioneer in 1969 with the first large-scale MAT program in Washington, DC.
The interview concludes with Dr. DuPont offering his perspective on today’s drug policy landscape, including the marked shift from “cultivated” drugs to “synthetic” drugs, the drug legalization movement, and the new threat of what he calls “commercialized recreational pharmacology”, with businesses now a key driver of developing and marketing stronger, more addictive drugs and new delivery systems such as vaping and edibles.
As he succinctly observed in a 2018 interview with Opiod Watch, “drug users are able to buy more drugs, at higher potency, and lower prices, with more convenient delivery, than ever before.”
Current deaths in America involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, increased from roughly 3,000 in 2013 to more than 30,000 in 2018. This analysis provides decisionmakers, researchers, media outlets, and the public with insights intended to improve their understanding of the synthetic opioid problem and how to respond to it. Limiting policy responses to existing approaches will likely be insufficient and may condemn many people to early deaths.
The Future of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids (RAND), consider examining a text edited by David F. Musto, One Hundred Years of Heroin (Auburn House 2002).
Cited in several national conference presentations in the past year, it is a compilation of 14 articles dovetailed to form a coherent history of the archetypal opioid of misuse.
The book provides multiple perspectives ranging from neurophysiology to the political response to the endemic, and featuring authors of such diversity as Bill White, Herb Kleber, Bob DuPont, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
…Why the plug? Because of the serialized hype surrounding synthetic opioids of misuse, of which only the most recent are fentanyl and sufentanil (sic).
As misuse of historical accounts and abuse of citations have returned to vogue among too many politicians, it is more important to make use of an informed, deep examination of the oldest player in the opioid addiction world.I recommend exploring a new groundbreaking book
“The Future of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids’ Paperback – 15 Oct 2019
by Bryce Pardo (Author) to learn about the past 100 years of heroin up until todays global opioid epidemic.