Scientific progress over the past two decades has produced significant new knowledge about the genetic, metabolic, learned and social factors that initiate and promote substance abuse. Driven largely by economic factors, state and federal policy makers are now more open to new ways of managing the substance use problems that so profoundly affect education, healthcare, and business in our country. Because of these separate but related developments, society is turning to research for solutions to substance use problems.
Yet very few scientific advances have translated into broad use – many prevention interventions, treatment practices and public policies are scientifically uninformed, out of date and costly. While research remains critical as the foundation for behavior change – it is clear that research by itself will not bring about that change. Broad change in public behavior with regard to substance use problems will require research combined with commerce and communication. Such a combination could create public awareness of and demand for science-informed alternatives to outdated practices and policies.
TRI’s unique mission is to develop tools that meet the needs of the many affected stakeholders; TRI strives to create research-based solutions to the multifaceted problems of substance abuse. It is our belief that science should drive improved policies and practices, but that science alone is not enough. To impact broad systemic change, science must be translated into practical solutions.