Obama Administration Releases 2013 National Drug Policy Strategy   [open pdf - 136KB]

From the press release: "The programs and policy reforms set forth in the 2013 'Strategy' are built upon decades of scientific research demonstrating that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that can be successfully prevented and treated, not a moral failure on the part of the individual. The 'Strategy' directs Federal agencies to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use before it begins, empower healthcare workers to intervene early at the first signs of a substance use disorder, expand access to treatment for those who need it, and support the millions of Americans in recovery. The 'Strategy' details actions to implement the most significant expansion of access to substance use treatment in generations. Through a new rule made possible by the Affordable Care Act, insurers will now be required to cover treatment for substance use disorders just as they would for any other chronic disease. Specifically, this new rule expands mental health and substance use disorder benefits and Federal parity protections for 62 million Americans, making it a key element in the Administration's public health approach to drug policy in the United States. The 'Strategy' also contains action items in support of a 'smart on crime' approach to drug enforcement, protecting communities from domestic and international drug-related crime while diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of prison. As part of this approach, the 'Strategy' highlights promising criminal justice reforms, including drug courts and smart probation programs that reduce incarceration rates, along with community-based policing programs that break the cycle of drug use, crime, and incarceration while focusing limited enforcement resources on more serious offenses."

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