IRVING LEVESON The 19608 was a period of rapid social and economic change, coupled with spectacular growth in the role of government in dealing with social issues. The demands of public programs and policies created enormous pressures for improved information and analyses. In the field of drug abuse these pressures were compounded by the rapid rise of drug use and the absence of much critical information and analysis. The most elementary steps to develop a data base were just beginning, and many years of effort would be required before the accumulation of knowledge could produce. a strong foundation for public policy. There has been enormous progress in improving knowledge about drug abuse since the mid-1960s. However, as in many fields, research has concentrated on a few questions while others largely are ignored, and even where studies exist there are problems of assimilation. Information is widely dispersed, not always accessible and often not in the most useful form. Many analysts do not have adequate understanding of the ways in which studies might enter into policy development, while at the same time, persons responsible for policy formation often do not have sufficient knowledge of how to use research to help resolve policy issues. A major objective of this volume is to illustrate the formation of linkages which may bridge the gap between research and policy.