Office of National Drug Control Policy

Advancing a New Approach to Drug Policy: Key Accomplishments

Since the release of President Obama’s first National Drug Control Strategy in May 2010, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has coordinated a government‐wide public health and public safety approach to reduce drug use and its consequences in the United States. The Obama Administration recognizes that drug use is a threat to the Nation’s public health, and that drug addiction is a preventable and treatable disease.

Relying on Science and Research to Support Our Nation’s Drug Control Strategies

The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 National Drug Control Budget requests over $26 billion for balanced and evidence‐based drug control programs.

  • The most cost‐effective way to reduce our Nation’s drug problem is to stop drug use before it starts. To this end, the Obama Administration has requested $1.7 billion to support various education and outreach programs aimed at preventing the initiation of drug use. This represents a 7.9 percent ($123.0 million) increase over the FY 2010 enacted funding level.
  • Recognizing that drug addiction is a disease, the Obama Administration is working to expand access to evidence‐based substance abuse treatment and to recovery support services. The FY 2012 Budget dedicates nearly $9.0 billion in Federal funds for early intervention and treatment services for substance abusers. This represents a 1.1 percent increase ($98.7 million) over the FY 2010 enacted level.
  • To support law enforcement efforts to protect American communities from drug‐related crime, the Administration has requested over $9.5 billion.

Helping Communities Prevent Drug Use

  • In FY 2010, ONDCP awarded $85.6 million in new grants to 169 community‐based drug prevention coalitions through the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program.
  • ONDCP’s revived National Youth Anti‐Drug Media Campaign has a broader focus on substances most often abused by teens and is partnering with communities to reach at‐risk youth populations in rural, suburban, and urban communities.
  • Evidence for the effectiveness of the “Above the Influence” (ATI) Campaign recently appeared in a study published by the peer‐reviewed journal Prevention Science. This independent scientific analysis concluded that “exposure to the ONDCP (ATI) campaign predicted reduced marijuana use” among 8th grade students. Another study published in the American Journal of Public Health concluded that lower rates of past‐month and lifetime marijuana use were found among 8th grade girls who had greater exposure to the ATI Campaign compared to those with low exposure.
  • In FY 2009 and FY 2010, approximately $2 million of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) baseline funding and $800,000 in discretionary grants was directed toward drug prevention. HIDTA prevention initiatives facilitate increased coordination between the law enforcement and prevention communities to reduce drug abuse and its negative consequences.

Increasing Access to Treatment and Recovery Support

  • Increased access to substance abuse screening, early intervention, and treatment in 260 Federally Qualified Health Centers that serve the neediest Americans, and 12 emergency clinics in the Indian Health Service.
  • The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) for substance use disorder content was revised to include questions on substance use and its health consequences, and medical schools will have to prepare physicians to respond to these questions. Now, more physicians entering practice will have the skills to diagnose substance use disorders.
  • ONDCP co‐sponsored the first‐ever Young People’s Networking Dialogue on Recovery, which brought together young people in recovery from across the Nation to share ideas and recommendations for developing recovery‐oriented systems of care for young people who are in or are seeking recovery.

Combating Our Nation’s Fastest‐Growing Drug Problem: Prescription Drug Abuse

  • Developed and implementing the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Action Plan, which identifies four key areas for reducing prescription drug abuse: education for prescribers, patients, and parents; prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in all 50 states; secure, convenient, and environmentally sound disposal of medications; and law enforcement against pill mills and doctor shopping.
  • Led efforts to secure bi‐partisan passage of prescription drug disposal legislation (Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010) signed by President Obama in October 2010.
  • Partnered in the DEA‐led National Take‐Back Day initiatives in September 2010 and April 2011. These programs resulted in the collection of more than 300 tons of unused medicine for safe and proper disposal.
  • Raised public awareness of high rates of prescription drug abuse, particularly among active duty military personnel and veterans. One in nine service members currently abuse prescription drugs – more than double the rate in the civilian population.

Addressing the Threat of Drugged Driving

  • The President declared December 2010 National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, calling on all Americans to help prevent the loss of life by practicing safe driving practices and reminding drivers to stay sober, drug free, and safe on the road.
  • An online training module is being developed to provide increased training for state and local law enforcement personnel in recognizing drugged driving.
  • ONDCP has enhanced public awareness of drugged driving through increased news media outreach and public engagements that highlight new data revealing the prevalence of drivers on our roadways with drugs in their system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly one in eight weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illicit drugs. One‐in‐three drivers killed in traffic crashes who were tested, and their results reported, tested positive for drugs.
  • In March 2011, ONDCP secured passage of a United Nations resolution calling on all nations to address the threat of drugged driving.

Reforming Criminal Justice

  • The President signed into law the Fair Sentencing Act, thereby reducing the disparity in the amounts of powder cocaine and crack cocaine required for the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences and eliminating the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine. It also increases penalties for major drug traffickers.
  • The Administration fully supports testing and sanctions programs, which offer opportunities to reduce drug use and recidivism.

Domestic Law Enforcement

  • Initiated the Domestic Highway Enforcement (DHE) initiative to assist HIDTA grantees with market disruption through a coordinated, nationwide highway enforcement strategy. The 48 contiguous states share plans and intelligence and coordinate joint enforcement operations. In 2010, the DHE initiative resulted in almost $1 billion in cash, property, and products seized, including nearly $52 million in cash assets alone.
  • Oversaw an ongoing, multi‐agency, marijuana enforcement effort in Madera, Fresno, and Tulare Counties, California, resulting in the eradication of approximately 664,000 marijuana plants (primarily from public lands), seizure of nearly 6,900 pounds of processed marijuana, arrest of 126 individuals, and the Federal prosecution of 79 defendants.
  • Expanded tribal law enforcement participation in the HIDTA program. New county HIDTA designations in Indian country, a response to growing drug production and trafficking threats on tribal lands, serve as a model for future Federal drug investigation and enforcement support in tribal communities.

Improving International Relationships and Reducing the Supply of Drugs

  • Developed and oversaw implementation of a National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy to stem the flow of illegal drugs and their illicit proceeds across the Southwest border and reduce associated crime and violence in the region.
  • Began development of an unprecedented Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy to address the bi‐national challenges of drug production, trafficking, and use between the United States and Canada.
  • Fostered stronger international counterdrug partnerships with nations in the Western Hemisphere, Russia, and Afghanistan.
    • Achieved a 31% cocaine removal rate in the Western Hemisphere Transit Zone, marking the highest rate of reduction in the supply of cocaine in the past decade.

Promoting Accountability and Transparency

  • Established a formal interagency process to ensure all 106 National Drug Control Strategy Action Items are on track for completion.
  • Reflecting the complex nature of the drug problem and its solutions, the National Drug Control Budget has been restructured to more accurately represent the full range of Federal spending, including costs associated with the consequences of drug use.
  • ONDCP has created a Performance Reporting System, which will monitor each National Drug Control agency’s contribution to accomplishing the goals of the National Drug Control Strategy. The System will be released later in 2011.