2011 National Drug Control Strategy

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Strengthen Efforts to Prevent Drug Use in Our Communities
Chapter 2:Seek Early Intervention Opportunities in Health Care
Chapter 3:Integrate Treatment for Substance Use Disorders into Mainstream Health Care and Expand Support for Recovery
Chapter 4:Break the Cycle of Drug Use, Crime, Delinquency, and Incarceration
Chapter 5:Disrupt Domestic Drug Trafficking and Production
Chapter 6:Strengthen International Partnerships
Chapter 7:Improve Information Systems for Analysis, Assessment, and Local Management

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To the Congress of the United States

Every sector of our society is affected by drug use and the consequences of drug use. Drug use and its consequences hamper our Nation’s ability to out-educate our global competitors and increase graduation rates. It lessens the ability of our workforce to be fully productive, and it takes the lives of too many fellow Americans.

My Administration’s 2011 National Drug Control Strategy contains support for smart and cost-effective programs to reduce drug use and its consequences. There are new prevention initiatives to encourage young people to make good decisions. There are increasing numbers of evidence-based treatment programs for those with substance use disorders. There is a focus on smart criminal justice approaches that use our criminal justice system to break the cycle of drug use and crime by diverting non-violent offenders into treatment instead of prison. From pre-trial diversion to alternatives to incarceration, to re-entry efforts that fundamentally change how drug-related crime and substance-abusing offenders are addressed, these approaches reduce recidivism and help ex-offenders return to their communities. On our borders and around the world, we highlight our collaboration with international partners to stop drugs from reaching our shores and prevent proceeds of illicit drug sales from returning to traffickers.

This Strategy also builds on several legislative accomplishments passed with broad, bipartisan support from Congress over the past year. I was proud to sign two important pieces of legislation since the release of the Inaugural Strategy; the Fair Sentencing Act and the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act.

The Fair Sentencing Act dramatically reduced the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine violations. My Administration is committed to the fair and equal application of our Nation’s laws. The Fair Sentencing Act marks the first time in 40 years that Congress has reduced a mandatory minimum sentence.

Prescription drug abuse is America’s fastest-growing drug problem, and one largely fed by an unlikely source—Americans’ medicine cabinets. The passage of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 will save lives by providing patients with safe, environmentally sound ways to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs.

By taking a balanced approach to drug policy, one that emphasizes both public health and public safety, we can help make our neighborhoods and communities even stronger. Together, we will make a real difference in addressing the many challenges posed by drug use and its consequences and create a brighter future for us all.

Barack Obama
The White House

Preface from Director Kerlikowske

In its inaugural Strategy published last year, this Administration embarked upon a new approach to the problem of drug use in the United States, an approach founded on scientific evidence and informed by extensive consultation with substance abuse experts, representatives of law enforcement, and our Federal, state, tribal, and local partners. This year, we continue our call for a balanced approach—one that draws upon prevention, treatment, recovery support, law enforcement, interdiction, and international partnerships— to achieve a 15 percent reduction in the rate of drug use and its consequences over 5 years.

This Administration’s approach to addressing the multi-faceted challenges associated with drug use in this country is, necessarily, both detailed and complex. Its success depends upon realizing a number of accomplishments that will, collectively, make America’s communities safer and its people healthier. This Strategy reports on the progress we have already made on many of the inaugural Strategy’s commitments. Over the course of 2011, we expect significant progress on several other fronts. Those, in turn, will be presented in the 2012 Strategy.

Throughout this document, we highlight policies and programs at the Federal level; however, we also recognize the significant contributions of our state, local, and tribal partners. A basic tenet of the Strategy is that the Nation’s drug problems require not only Federal attention, but also local partnerships to develop effective solutions. Prevention efforts are most successful when they involve multiple sectors of a community, such as schools, health and social service systems, law enforcement, faith communities, local businesses, and neighborhood organizations. While this Strategy is largely a blueprint for the Federal Government, I know from my experience as a police chief that it will also prove useful in guiding state and local decisions.

In this Strategy, as in all of our initiatives, we are focused on key topics where substantial short-term progress can make a significant difference in people’s lives: prescription drug abuse, drugged driving, and prevention. Given the gravity and scope of the prescription drug abuse problem, which has been described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a public health epidemic, the Administration has developed and is implementing the Nation’s first Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Action Plan. We are also coordinating a national response to the problem of drugged driving, and we remain committed to and focused on ensuring drug use prevention efforts are plentiful and based on science.

Likewise, we have identified key populations that struggle with substance abuse, including military personnel, veterans, and their families; people in the criminal justice system; families, with particular emphasis on women and children; and college and university students.

Our goals are ambitious and our challenges numerous, but I am confident that our work and the work of our many partners will reduce drug use and lessen the damage it inflicts on our country. I am grateful for the support of Congress in addressing these challenges, and ask for continued support and collaboration as we implement this Strategy.

R. Gil Kerlikowske
Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy