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ONDCP and Department of Education Ask Universities to Join Efforts to Reduce Illegal Drug Use

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined Director Kerlikowske in encouraging colleges and universities to reduce illegal drug use and high-risk drinking, which have been shown to have negative consequences on academic performance.

Today, Director Kerlikowske and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reached out to higher education institutions highlighting President Obama's 2011 National Drug Control Strategy (Strategy). The 2011 Strategy supports two of President Obama's goals for our Nation - reducing illegal drug use by ten percent within five years, and having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.  The detrimental consequences of substance use on academic performance are significant.  That is why the 2011 Strategy emphasizes the importance of responding to illegal drug use and high-risk drinking on college campuses, and the Department of Education's continued efforts to incorporate alcohol and other drug abuse prevention into higher education.

Given these goals, Director Kerlikowske and Secretary Duncan invite college and university leaders to join them along with other Federal agency partners to work collaboratively to prevent illegal drug use, and high-risk drinking in our Nation's college and university communities by ensuring the most effective prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services are available to all students. 

The release of the Strategy reaffirms the commitment by ONDCP, Department of Education and other Federal agencies to address substance use in the college population today, and to collaboratively work together to achieve the President's goals. 

Read the letter.

David K. Mineta is Deputy Director of the Office of Demand Reduction