This week, ONDCP joins the American Public Health Association (APHA) and partners across the country in celebrating National Public Health Week. Following the release of the Obama Administration’s National Prevention Strategy, Federal, state, and local officials around the Nation are participating in this annual observance to provide education, resources, and tools to help people lead healthier lives.
As Director Kerlikowske stated in a recent interview with The Nation’s Health, the official newspaper of APHA, the drug problem is “…a public health issue as much as a public safety issue. Whether it’s through (screening and brief intervention and referral to treatment) or moving to additional work with primary care physicians who become more knowledgeable about the issues around dependence and addiction, etc.—all of that means that we have a better chance of dealing with this and reducing the problem if it’s part of a public health, education, and criminal justice focus.”
Research shows preventing drug use before it begins is a cost-effective, common-sense approach to promoting safe and healthy communities. Teens who don't use drugs perform better academically, have fewer auto accidents due to drugged and drunk driving, and are more productive due to lower absenteeism. Preventing drug use also lowers rates of HIV transmission due to decreased injection drug use and other risky behaviors, creates safer home environments for children previously considered drug-endangered, and revitalizes neighborhoods through coalition-based efforts. Put simply, drug prevention saves lives and cuts costs.
For additional information, tools, and resources, visit the National Public Health Week website.
For more information on ONDCP’s prevention efforts, visit our prevention page.