Robert L. DuPont

Podcast: IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD interviewed on the 50th anniversary of Nixon’s Special Message on Control of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs

As the second White House “Drug Czar” and the first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. DuPont was in the midst of a concerted effort by President Nixon and Congress to address the rising heroin and marijuana epidemics of the 1960s and 70s. He was recently asked by the Nixon Foundation to discuss his unique perspective on the 50th anniversary of the July 14th, 1969 Special Message to the Congress on Control of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, in which Nixon insisted that “A national awareness of the gravity of the situation is needed; a new urgency and concerted national policy are needed at the Federal level to begin to cope with this growing menace to the general welfare of the United States.”

Looking back, Dr. DuPont sees Nixon’s Message as a “remarkable document” that anticipated and drove the development of many aspects and institutions of research, law enforcement, treatment, and international cooperation that still form the core of US drug policy to this day. In particular, Dr. DuPont observes that Nixon’s Message broke new ground in two areas that were key in Dr. DuPont’s own career: the recognition that law enforcement and treatment are synergistic rather than competing components of effective drug policy, and the promotion of medically-assisted treatment (MAT), which Dr. DuPont helped pioneer in 1969 with the first large-scale MAT program in Washington, DC.

The interview concludes with Dr. DuPont offering his perspective on today’s drug policy landscape, including the marked shift from “cultivated” drugs to “synthetic” drugs, the drug legalization movement, and the new threat of what he calls “commercialized recreational pharmacology”, with businesses now a key driver of developing and marketing stronger, more addictive drugs and new delivery systems such as vaping and edibles. As he succinctly observed in a 2018 interview with Opiod Watch, “drug users are able to buy more drugs, at higher potency, and lower prices, with more convenient delivery, than ever before.”

Dr. Robert L. DuPont's Op-Ed Regarding CBD Published by The Washington Examiner

Building on the recent testimony of IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD to the FDA regarding the exploding commercialization of cannabidiol (CBD), The Washington Examiner published an op-ed on this important topic. Dr. DuPont observes that “[t]he irrational enthusiasm for the medical use cannabidiol, or CBD, is unique and frightening. We are watching the explosive creation of a multibillion-dollar industry poised to make tremendous profits off desperate patients and their loved ones…Anecdotes and testimonials, not science, are driving the marketing of unregulated, nonprescription forms of CBD. This scenario is reminiscent of 19th century patent medicines. These concoctions claimed to cure every known condition; their peddlers were commonly known as ‘snake oil’ salesmen.”

Click here to read Dr. DuPont’s full op-ed on The Washington Examiner website.


The new film “Beautiful Boy” depicts the experiences of a father and son, David and Nic Sheff, as Nic dives deep into a methamphetamine addiction. Not only is this film based on David’s and Nic’s pair of best-selling memoirs, Beautiful Boy and Tweak, the film mirrors the experiences of millions of Americans whose brains have been hijacked by addiction. In this review, IBH President, Dr. Robert DuPont discusses this film and the parallels between Nic and David’s experience and the experiences of the many people with substance use disorders and their families Dr. DuPont has seen throughout his 50 year career. IBH commends David, Nic and all of those involved in making this film, on producing a striking cautionary tale as well as a compelling reminder that recovery is possible for everyone. Read Dr. DuPont’s review here.


IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD presented his book at The Heritage Foundation hosted by Senior Research Fellow Paul Larkin. Following Dr. DuPont’s remarks which focus on the state of the nation’s drug epidemic, the future of prevention and addiction treatment, he answers questions from the audience.


At a time when the nation is searching for ways to save lives from opioid and other drug overdoses as well as how to reduce the burden of addiction on individuals, families and communities, IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD has written Chemical Slavery: Understanding Addiction and Stopping the Drug Epidemicfor parents, teachers, physicians and for everyone afflicted by addiction.  The book also guides leaders in public policy and planning positions, as well as drug abuse treatment. Chemical Slavery covers two crucial topics: First, the national drug epidemic including an understanding of its evolution to become a national emergency, and the science of addiction and recovery. Second, Dr. DuPont presents his experience-based guide to the intimate, day-to-day struggle with the disease of addiction from prevention to lasting recovery. This book shows the ways in which these two domains of addiction, the national and the personal, are intertwined and can be both understood and managed. Read more.

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