As cocaine and heroin abuse continue to drop across the board, the same cannot be said about prescription drug abuse as it affects more and more lives every year. It is for that reason that prescription drug abuse and binge drinking will be the main focus of the 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, according to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske. While some demographics have been affected more severely by the abuse of prescription narcotics, there are several that will be the targets of the new strategy including:
- active duty military
- college students
- women and their families
- those in the criminal justice system
An estimated 375,000 veterans were diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder in 2007, the administration’s drug control policy will work towards supporting special courts for veterans with substance abuse issues and mental illness, Bloomberg reports. The new plan will help communities to educate their citizens as to the dangers associated with prescription narcotics and especially those who get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
There is a $26 billion federal budget for dealing with drug abuse; with about half of the funding going towards enforcement, with the rest of the funding for prevention and treatment, Kerlikowske told Bloomberg.
Ongoing budget discussions could affect the budget for drug control strategy, Kerlikowske noted.