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The White House
For Immediate Release

Statement from White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske Regarding Release of the White House Council Report on Women and Girls

Washington, D.C. - Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, released the following statement in response to the release of the White House Council report on Women and Girls:

“The unique challenges and stresses borne by women and girls in today’s society require thoughtful consideration about how to ensure women and girls are full and unhindered participants in this Nation’s race to win the future. By expanding access to evidence- and gender-based treatment services that address the unique needs of women, particularly parenting women, we strengthen American families and communities. I’m proud of ONDCP’s work to advance a National Drug Control Strategy that is responsive to the unique needs of our Nation’s women, girls, and families.”

In many categories, women are catching up to their male counterparts in drug use, but many treatment programs are designed for and used mostly by men. Because many traditional treatment programs do not accommodate children, a woman may be forced to make a choice between maintaining custody of her children or providing child care against her own medical need for treatment. Among youth, the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) survey showed nearly 10 percent of girls ages 12 to 17 were current drug users. Unlike among young adults, where males exceed females, teenage boys and girls are currently abusing prescription drugs at similar rates.

The Obama Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, released in 2010 and soon to be updated in 2011, is a balanced approach that places unprecedented emphasis on reducing the public health effects of drug use and its consequences. This approach includes ensuring women and girls have access to effective substance abuse treatment tailored to female clients, increasing the availability of family-based treatment, reaching teenage girls with targeted and gender-appropriate prevention messaging, and working to disrupt the cycle of intergenerational substance abuse.

To view the full report from the Council on Women and Girls click here. The report is accompanied by a website that compiles in one place some of the vast Federal statistical data concerning women. View the website here.

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