• President Obama Releases 2012 National Drug Control Strategy

    For many years, illegal drugs have become a veritable concern in our society. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise if government administrations from different countries – past and present – are steadfast in implementing various programs that will help fight against drugs production, trafficking, and drug abuse among people.

    In the United States, illicit drug use contributed to an estimated $193 billion in crime, health, and lost productivity costs in 2007 alone. To combat the ongoing threats of drug abuse, the Obama Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy was published in 2010, which outlines evidence-based public health and safety reforms, focusing on seven core areas:

    • Strengthening efforts to prevent drug use in our communities;
    • Seeking early intervention opportunities in health care;
    • Integrating treatment for substance use disorders into health care and supporting recovery;
    • Breaking the cycle of drug use, crime, delinquency, and incarceration;
    • Disrupting domestic drug trafficking and production;
    • Strengthening international partnerships; and
    • Improving information systems to better analyze, assess, and locally address drug use and its consequences.

    It had been a long journey since. On April 17, 2012, President Obama released his 2012 National Drug Control Strategy, which details progress updates on the implementation of the 2010 and 2011 National Drug Control Strategy to reduce drug use and its consequences in the United States. It further enumerated how the Administration made progress in a number of important areas during the past year.

    According to the Director of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske, the goal of the President remains the same, that is, to achieve 15% reduction in the rate of drug use and similar reductions in drug use consequences over the course of five years (2010-2015).

    In his message to Congress in the Administration’s first National Drug Control Strategy, the President affirmed that “…a well-crafted strategy is only as successful as its implementation. To succeed, we will need to rely on the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of every concerned American.”
    synthetic drug banner

    Goal 1: Curtail illicit drug consumption in America

    To lessen illicit drug consumption among Americans is one of the two primary goals stipulated in the 2012 National Drug Control Strategy. The Administration aims to:

    • Decrease the 30-day prevalence of drug use among 12- to 17-year-olds by 15 percent
    • Decrease the lifetime prevalence of 8th graders who have used drugs, alcohol, or tobacco by 15%
    • Decrease the 30-day prevalence of drug use among young adults aged 18–25 by 10%
    • Reduce the number of chronic drug users by 15%

    The objectives stemmed from the findings of the 2011 Monitoring the Future study which revealed that while illicit drug use among teens did not change significantly between 2010 and 2011, there have been significant increases in past-month use since 2006, mostly driven by increased rates of marijuana use.  Between 2006 and 2011, past-month use of any illicit drug among 10th graders increased from 16.8% to 19.2%.  During the same time period, past-month use of marijuana among 10th graders increased from 14.2% to 17.6%.

    The study also indicated that in 2011 one in nine high school seniors had used “synthetic marijuana” (synthetic cannabinoids commonly marketed as “herbal incense” in products such as “Spice” or “K2”)

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    Categories: Drug Testing

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