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By Janet Firshein

A prisoner in handcuffs

It's been some 20 years since the "War on Drugs" began. But decades of proclamations by political leaders of all stripes, accompanied by massive expenditures, have had a limited effect. Today, some $16 billion is spent waging the War on Drugs. Nevertheless, U.S. policymakers continue to struggle with combating the nation's illegal drug problem. Despite the funds devoted to fighting illegal drug use, the U.S. has not succeeded in significantly reducing either the demand for or the supply of drugs. Illegal drugs remain cheap and plentiful. The illicit drug trade flourishes and has transformed many inner cities into war zones. The articles in this section discuss our policies and what we might do instead.

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Does Treatment Work?

The Politics of Methadone

The Debate Over Needle Exchange

Legislating Insurance Parity for Addiction Treatment

The Heavy Toll of a Legal Drug

The High Cost of Doing Nothing

Fighting Back: Community Members Work Together

Take a Step at Work and in Your Community

Bill White, M.A.

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