Blog: ONDCP

Tune In Live: Reclaiming Futures at White House ONDCP Event

Tune in this Tuesday, June 10, to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)’s live video stream of the Academic Achievement Summit. ONDCP and the Department of Education are teaming up to explore how substance abuse affects academic achievement, with the goal of catalyzing action, especially at the local level.
Three of the Summit’s panel discussions will be streamed live, beginning at 8:15 a.m. ET, and can be viewed at WhiteHouse.gov/live. Wade Melton, program director of Hardin County, Ohio Juvenile Court and Reclaiming Futures Fellow, will be participating in a panel discussion at 11 a.m. ET.
I’m so excited to be part of this opportunity and look forward to further exploring how we can help young people break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime in order to achieve academic success.

Topics: No bio box, ONDCP

National Drug Control Budget Supports Treatment and Prevention

On Wednesday, April 10, President Obama announced the largest requested percentage increase in federal funding for drug treatment in over two decades.
The President’s Budget requests a $1.5 billion increase for treatment and prevention services, over the fiscal year 2012 level.
 
Please take a moment to review the funding highlights:

  • $76.8 million will fund grants made directly to approximately 605 community‐based coalitions (including 139 new grants) focusing on preventing youth substance use
  • President Obama’s drug budget calls for $1.5 billion increase for drug treatment and prevention over fiscal year 2012.
  • The budget calls for largest requested percentage increase in drug treatment funding in over two decades.
  • The total amount requested for treatment and prevention is $10.7 billion.
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The Importance of Teen Substance Use Prevention in the LGBTQ Community

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students are at higher risk for alcohol and drug abuse than heterosexual students.
During Pride Month, I was pleased to meet with leaders and advocates from the LGBTQ community to talk about substance use and other important issues facing those who are “differently” oriented. I told them how proud I was to work for a President who has made more LGBTQ appointments than any before him and whose Administration is committed to securing equality for all citizens, regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation.
We also talked about the importance of prevention – stopping substance use before it begins and identifying drug-related problems early. Alcohol and drugs can wreak havoc on even the most supportive and nurturing environments, so it is crucial for these young people, and indeed for all Americans, to remain vigilant against the threat.

2012 National Drug Control Strategy Emphasizes Prevention, Treatment, Diversion (and Applauds Reclaiming Futures)

Speaking at this year's annual JMATE conference, the Office of National Drug Control Policy's David Mineta stressed the Administration's priority on drug prevention, treatment and diversion programs. "Addiction can be overcome and recovery is absolutely possible," he said. "And we need to make sure our young people have the brightest future possible. It's personal for us."
With the recent release of the 2012 National Drug Control Strategy [pdf], it's clear that the Administration plans to follow up Mineta's remarks with a strong policy strategy for reducing drug use and its consequences. In particular, the Strategy recommends diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment, supporting reentry programs to help offenders rejoin their communities and bolstering innovative enforcement programs.
Writing in the White House Blog, Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, U.S. Attorney General Holder and ONDCP Director Kerlikowske explain their multi-agency approach to reducing drug use and supporting recovery efforts:

Our emphasis on addressing the drug problem through a public health approach is grounded in decades of research and scientific study. There is overwhelming evidence that drug prevention and treatment programs achieve meaningful results with significant long-term cost savings. In fact, recent research has shown that each dollar invested in an evidence-based prevention program can reduce costs related to substance use disorders by an average of $18.
But reducing the burden of our Nation’s drug problem stretches beyond prevention and treatment. We need an all of the above approach. To address this problem in a comprehensive way, the President’s new Strategy also applies the principles of public health to reforming the criminal justice system, which continues to play a vital role in drug policy. It outlines ways to break the cycle of drug use, crime, incarceration, and arrest by diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment, bolstering support for reentry programs that help offenders rejoin their communities, and advancing support for innovative enforcement programs proven to improve public health while protecting public safety.

In recognizing the potential of the criminal justice system in deterring/reducing/treating drug and alcohol addiction, the Strategy praises Reclaiming Futures for its work in addressing substance abuse and mental health problems among youth in the juvenile system:

JMATE 2012: Bad Kids or Hurt Kids? The Compelling Need for a Trauma Informed Juvenile Justice System

Starting in 2010, there's been a policy shift around drugs, addiction and treatment, and it could not have come at a better time, explained David Mineta (deputy director of demand reduction at ONDCP) at yesterday's JMATE plenary. More Americans are dying from drug use than from any other kind of accidental death, including car crashes and gun wounds. "This is a public health problem," stressed Mineta, before explaining that the ONDCP is prioritizing prevention, treatment and diversion programs in its forthcoming 2012 national drug control strategy. [editor's note: we'll share this as soon as it's out]
"Addiction can be overcome and recovery is absolutely possible," said Mineta. "And we need to make sure our young people have the brightest future possible. It's personal for us."  
Following Mineta's moving keynote on addiction and prevention measures, Kris Buffington addressed the issue of trauma and its impact on adolescents.
Buffington explained that traumatic experinces can substantially impact biological, psychological and social development in youth. And unfortunately, symptoms associated with exposure to traumatic events are often misinterpreted as indicating a young person has a behavioral disorder. 

What does the Super Committee's failure to reach agreement mean for the federal drug budget?

With the failure of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach an agreement, an analysis conducted by Carnevale Associates, LLC that examines the effects of a $1.2 trillion sequestration (automatic cut), finds that the cuts will be much more detrimental to demand reduction programs than to supply reduction programs. The disproportionate impact on demand reduction programs may impede the Obama administration’s stated aim of implementing the public health approach promoted in its National Drug Control Strategy.
The reason for the disproportionate impact of the automatic cuts on demand reduction is due to how the federal drug control budget is prepared by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)—the federal agency charged by law with developing the national drug control strategy and the federal budget to implement it. Much more explanation of how ONDCP accounts for federal drug control spending may be found in a recent Policy Brief released by Carnevale Associates, LLC. Suffice it to say that because the majority of resources for drug control are estimates of federal drug control resources as opposed to direct congressional appropriation, and that these estimates tend to fall more on the supply side of the federal budget, the sequester has much more effect on direct appropriations for demand reduction programs.