A Look at the 2013 National Drug Control Strategy

The Federal Government has committed more than $30 billion on drug control programs and initiatives since 2009, which includes $10.7 billion in 2013 alone.

The National Drug Control Strategy, which was initiated by the Obama Administration in 2010, was designed to reduce the use illicit drugs and the serious consequences that result. The Strategy was developed with the notion that science has shown that drug addiction is a disease of the brain, not a moral failing, and it can be prevented and treated.

As such, the basic Strategy initiated in 2010 and has been further refined in 2011 and 2012 to include strategies for establishing and promoting a number of initiatives aimed at public health and safety, with a focus on substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Now, in 2013, the Strategy is once again building on its initial foundation and is being used as the country’s blueprint for reducing drug abuse. Continuing with the idea of a scientific-based approach, the 2013 Strategy includes a reflection on the efforts made in the past four years and how the Administration’s efforts to reform the nation’s drug control policies will affect the public health and safety throughout the next decade.

The 2013 National Drug Control Strategy:

  • Is Grounded in Science, Research and Evidence – Science has revealed that drug addiction is, in fact, a chronic disease of the brain that can be successfully treated and prevented.
  • Looks to Prevention Instead of Incarceration – Prevention is, by and far, the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use in America.
  • Encourages Healthcare Professionals to Intervene Early –Early detection and treatment of drug abuse is more effective and far less expensive than dealing with someone with a chronic drug addiction.
  • Provides Access to Treatment for Millions of Americans – Although there were more than 21 million Americans over the age of 12 in the United States in 2011 who needed treatment for drug abuse, just 2.3 million received it, thereby highlighting the need for better treatment options and availability.
  • Supports a Lifelong Process of Recovery for the Millions of American in Recovery – Helping recovery addicts continue their recovery through community programs and through the reform of laws and regulations is needed.
  • Helps Protect Communities from Drug-Related Crime – The Strategy is working to implement a number of criminal justice reforms, which include special drug courts and diversion programs.