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White House Drug Control Strategy: Divert Non-Violent Drug Offenders into Treatment

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The Obama Administration’s 2012 Drug Control Strategy, released Tuesday, advocates diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment. The White House also advises increasing support for reentry programs that help offenders rejoin their communities, and bolstering innovative enforcement programs shown to improve public health while protecting public safety.

According to an announcement by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the strategy is based on the premise that drug addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that can be prevented and treated. It applies the principles of public health to reforming the criminal justice system.

Other priority areas include preventing prescription drug abuse, and reducing drugged driving through legislative, law enforcement, and research initiatives. The Administration will continue to work with Congress to address the synthetic drug threat, the report notes.

Legalization of drugs will not be considered, the policy states. “Making drugs more available and more accessible will not reduce drug use and its adverse consequences for public health and safety. We will continue to educate young people and all Americans about the science on the harmful health effects of marijuana use,” the report concludes.

4 Responses to this article

  1. Michael W. Shore, M.D. / April 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Absolutely place non-violent drug offenders into treatment – TREATMENT WORKS!!!! However, an evaluation must be completed first to best determine what level and intensity of treatment is optimal, including medication assisted options (eg. Suboxone). AND, sufficient funds must be available to pay for the treatment. It is well known that when all the costs of untreated addiction are added up (including the criminal justice system and medical costs), every dollar spent on treatment results in the savings of several dollars for the investment in treatment. Dr. Shore

  2. Avatar of Gay Hartigan
    Gay Hartigan / April 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Treatment works and should be the focus of government intervention. Parityneeds to be supported and encouragement is needed for states to fund all levels of treatment: Outpatient, inpatient rehabilitation, inpatient detox, residential and methadone tx.As with mainstream medicine, there are many models of successful treatment and all needed to impact the disease of addiction.

  3. Luis Lozano / April 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    At least they are willing to engage in a coversation. A good place to start would be to decriminalize drugs and drug use and get rid of the penalties and restrictions for foodstamps and financial aid.

  4. Avatar of Larey A. Fierman
    Larey A. Fierman / April 21, 2012 at 11:50 am

    If only the government would put it’s money where their mouth is. So many government funded clinics have seen their funding radically reduced or lost their funding for Alcohol & Drug Treatment that this plan is not viable without federal funding. These government funded clinics are being asked to do more and more with less and less. It is a shame.

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