HHD's Topics

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

In the United States and many other countries, the consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use are staggering. Substance abuse takes an incalculable physical, emotional, and economic toll on individuals, families, and communities. Substance abuse is also a factor in domestic and interpersonal violence, injuries, mental health disorders, unsafe sex, and loss of productivity.

Considering these factors, substance abuse exacts a huge financial cost—over $250 billion annually in the U.S.—on society as a whole. The impact of substance abuse is not limited to alcohol and other drugs: by 2020, the global burden of diseases attributable to tobacco is expected to outweigh that of any other disease. HHD is committed to preventing substance abuse, with a particular focus on youth.

HHD's work in substance abuse prevention is grounded in the philosophy that any successful effort must be comprehensive, multifaceted, and based on changing the environment in which substance abuse thrives. With a broad but strategic focus on prevention and screening, we work with diverse groups, including state and local elected officials, federal agency directors, college and university administrators, community and business leaders, parents, youth, and the media.