"Throughout much of the last century, our understanding of drug use was influenced by powerful myths and misconceptions about the nature of addiction. People who used illicit drugs and had substance use disorders were thought to be morally flawed or lacking in willpower. These views shaped our responses to drug policy, resulting in punitive rather than therapeutic approaches to reduce drug use. Today, the Nation's response to addressing substance use disorders and our views about those who suffer from the disease of addiction have begun to change. Groundbreaking discoveries about the brain have revolutionized our understanding, therefore enabling us to develop evidence-based and humane interventions to reduce drug use and its consequences. Substance use disrupts our families, schools, and communities and limits the hopes and dreams of young people across the country. Illicit drug use is associated with addiction, disease, and lower academic performance among our young people, and contributes to crime, injury, lost productivity and serious dangers on our Nation's roadways. Successfully addressing these complex issues requires a range of approaches. The Obama Administration is committed to restoring balance to U.S. drug-control efforts by coordinating an unprecedented government-wide public health and public safety approach."
Executive Office of the President: http://www.whitehouse.gov/