White House Drug Policy Director

Statement from White House Drug Policy Director on Release of the National Prevention Strategy “Today’s release of the National Prevention Strategy exemplifies the Obama Administration’s balanced approach to drug policy and emphasis on improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities across the country. Research on prevention confirms that youth substance abuse shares many of the same characteristics of other troubling behaviors, including aggression and poor school performance. That’s why we support an robust approach to preventing drug use before it starts by tackling our Nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic, intervening early in health care settings, and a renewed national youth anti-drug media campaign that focuses on community-level engagement to promote healthy behaviors.” Overall drug use in the United States has dropped substantially over the past thirty years. In response to comprehensive efforts to address drug use at the local, state, Federal, and international levels, the number of Americans using illicit drugs today is roughly half the rate it was in the late 70s. More recently, there has been a 46 percent drop in current cocaine use among young adults (age 18 to 25 years) over the past five years, and a 68 percent drop in the rate of people testing positive for cocaine in the workplace since 2006. To build on this progress and support a public health approach to drug control outlined in the Strategy, the Obama Administration has committed over $10 billion for drug prevention programs and support for expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. http://ofsubstance.gov/blogs/pushing_back/archive/2011/06/06/51898.aspx This first ever National Prevention Strategy, called for under the Affordable Care Act, was created to help move the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. By focusing on prevention, the National Prevention Strategy will help Americans stay healthy and fit and improve our nation's prosperity. The National Prevention Strategy's goal is to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. The Strategy's four Strategic Directions and seven Priorities include evidence-based recommendations fundamental to improving the nation's health. The National Prevention Council, comprised of 17 Federal agencies and chaired by the Surgeon General, developed the National Prevention Strategy with input from stakeholders, the public, and the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. To succeed, implementation of the Strategy must include public and private partners working together at the national, state, tribal, local, and territorial levels. More information on the National Prevention Strategy and the National Prevention Council can be found at: http://www.healthcare.gov/center/councils/nphpphc/strategy/index.html http://www.healthcare.gov/center/councils/nphpphc/