White House Releases National Plan To Combat Drug Use in America

The National Drug Control Policy, (ONDCP) released President Bush’s 2007 National Drug Control Strategy. The Administration’s new Strategy outlines a balanced strategy against illegal drugs, including support for programs that stop drug use before it starts, provide treatment for drug users, and disrupt the market for illegal drugs. According to the Monitoring the Future Study—the largest survey on teen drug use in the United States, as overall drug use has declined in America, prescription drug abuse, particularly among teens, remains troubling. Prescription drug abuse ranks second only to marijuana as the Nation’s largest illegal drug problem, with nearly 6.4 million people reporting the non-medical use of prescription drugs. In order to reverse the alarming trends in prescription drug abuse and to help achieve the Administration’s goal of reducing prescription drug abuse by 15 percent in 3 years, the Strategy urges States to develop and implement Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). Currently, 17 States do not have any form of PDMP in place. The new Strategy outlines support for effective drug control programs, including: ONDCP’s award-winning National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign; non-punitive random student drug testing programs; local anti-drug coalitions through the Drug- Free Communities program; the Access to Recovery drug treatment program; Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT); and support for stopping drugs at the source in Afghanistan and the Andean region.