ONDCP Releases New National Drug Control Strategy

Initially published in 2010, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) recently released the Administration’s 2014 National Drug Control Strategy. As stated on the ONDCP website:

The 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, released on July 9, builds on the foundation laid down by the Administration’s previous four Strategies and serves as l the Nation’s blueprint for reducing drug use and its consequences. Continuing our collaborative, balanced, and science-based approach, the new Strategy provides a review of the progress we have made over the past four years. It also looks ahead to our continuing efforts to reform, rebalance, and renew our national drug control policy to address the public health and safety challenges of the 21st century.

In support of this Strategy, the President has requested $25.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2015.  Federal funding for public health programs that address substance use has increased every year, and the portion of the Nation’s drug budget spent on drug treatment and prevention efforts – 43 percent – has grown to its highest level in over 12 years. The $10.9 billion request for treatment and prevention is now nearly 20% higher than the $9.2 billion requested for Federally-funded domestic drug law enforcement and incarceration.

In an interview on VOX, Michael Botticelli, acting director of the ONDCP, discussed the strategy shift from treating substance use as a criminal justice issue to one of a public health issue:

The main distinction with this plan is the general acknowledgment that substance use is a public health issue. We can’t arrest our way out of the problem, and we really need to focus our attention on proven public health strategies to make a significant difference as it relates to drug use and consequences to that in the United States.

The second thing, which I think is a sea-change as it relates to this policy, is that this is done in partnership with significant criminal justice reform. We know arrest and incarceration are not only ineffective, but they’re also expensive. I think the track record of this administration has shown that really, unlike any other administration in the past, a significant amount of modifications to our criminal justice system are meant to deal with drug use and its consequences in a much more compassionate and humane way.

For more information read the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy and the full interview with Michael Botticelli on VOX.