Emerging Drug Trends & Prevention 

 
Emerging Drug Trends & Prevention 

United States national drug control policy is 
historically reactive, 

addressing the latest 
 
crisis long after it is established. 
Prevention 
is the best policy tool available for 
addressing emerging drug problems, but it is
 most effective before problems become well-
entrenched. Three emerging trends could 
prove damaging if ignored: (1) cocaine use 
by young adults is increasing and cocaine-
involved overdoses have exploded, (2) 
heroin and synthetic opioids are driving 
opioid overdose deaths, and (3) the country 
is increasingly accepting of marijuana. In 
light of these trends, we offer five 
recommendations to develop prevention 
infrastructure and facilitate proactive solutions.
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