Prescription drug abuse will be a major focus of the 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, according to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske. The Obama Administration will center its attention on high-risk groups including active duty military and veterans, college students, women and their families, and those in the criminal justice system.
This year’s strategy continues to focus on prevention and treatment, but expands its reach, he said. While cocaine abuse has dropped 46 percent among young adults 18 to 25, prescription drug abuse has not seen a similar drop, Kerlikowske told Bloomberg. He added that binge drinking among young adults is also a major concern.
With an estimated 375,000 veterans diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder in 2007, the administration’s drug control policy will encourage support for special courts for veterans with substance abuse issues and mental illness, Bloomberg reports. The plan also includes initiatives to expand community-based substance abuse prevention and to reduce drugged driving.
The federal budget includes about $26 billion for dealing with drug abuse; about half that amount is slated for enforcement, while the other half goes toward prevention and treatment, Kerlikowske told Bloomberg. Ongoing budget discussions could affect the budget for drug control strategy, he noted.