Presidential Rhetoric and Policy Outcomes: The President and the American Struggle with Heroin Abuse



Using data from public statements of American presidents, we describe how much attention presidents have given to treatment as a solution to the perceived problem of increasing use of narcotics in society. The data show that treatment got the most attention during the late 1960s and early 1970s. More generally, as a solution to the problem, emphasis on treatment appears to rise during periods of high drug use and fall during years of declining use.