Today there is a session at the Society for the Study of Addiciton annual symposium called “Science & Politics – Synergy or Conflict?”
The importance of getting addiciton science to policy makers can not be stressed enough. The session includes some really good examples of where government are listening to the science (Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, plain packaging [finally], and e-cigarettes) and where they are not (minimum unit pricing for alcohol). Policy is rarely made just on the basis of evidence. Public opinion, idealogical positioning and industry influence can all result in policies which are ineffective, even downright dangerous. The challenge for all addiction scientists is how to get their findings listened to and acted upon. Answers on a postcard, please.