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The White House
For Immediate Release

Statement from White House Drug Policy Director on Release of the National Prevention Strategy

Washington, D.C. – Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, released the following statement following the 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.

For more information on National efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences visit: www.WhiteHouseDrugPolicy.gov