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National Drug Strategy

Essay by   •  December 12, 2010  •  1,492 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,469 Views

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Proposed Strategy

The President's 2004 National Drug Strategy was comprised of three key areas: prevention and education, treatment, and market disruption. The White House highlighted several programs that address prevention and education in schools nation-wide, supporting the initiatives financially. Schools that design and implement their own student drug-testing programs will receive a portion of the proposed federal budget funding. An Anti-drug campaign funneled through the media is the second highlight designed to reach out to young people, warning them about the dangers of using illicit drugs. The goal of the campaign is to send anti-drug messages through different media outlet sources, such as the Internet and television. The final budgeted proposal aimed at drug intervention is to fund anti-drug coalitions in disadvantaged communities, to educate young people about staying away from the pressures of drug usage and to offer assistance to those people in the community that need help to free themselves from addiction.

The second key area outlined in the 2004 National Drug Strategy was drug treatment. As stated by the White House, there are "more than one million Americans receiving treatment each year," which is compounded with the reality that more than "20 million Americans are past month, or current, users of at least one illegal drug." (ONDCP, 2004) Simply stated, millions of Americans need assistance with drug treatment. The President has stated that he supports access to recovery by expanding the current drug treatment system over the next five years with a $200 million budget. With an increased number of drug court programs across the country offering alternatives to incarceration, the Office of Justice recommends an increased budget to support mandatory drug testing, treatment, and follow-on programs; to keep the courts operational and successful. To continue uncovering the mysteries of drug addiction and develop intervention or new medications, the National Institute on Drug Abuse will require a budget increase of $23 million.

The final approach to the 2004 National Drug Strategy is to fight the source of drug addiction - trafficking. Every year, the Drug Enforcement Administration interdicts thousands of pounds of drugs, preventing the product from nation-wide distribution. Increasing the DEA budget and other federal law enforcement efforts will allow for more field agents, state-of-the-art equipment, and legal assistance, in fighting the war on drugs. The federal government will be able to keep projects along the border viable and able to continue to support enforcement. Surveillance equipment such as the P-3 aircraft will enable authorities to monitor rough terrain and large expanses, where regular foot or vehicle patrol would be ineffective. The President acknowledges the drug trade as being a world-wide market, with the agricultural harvest of the drug playing a large financial role as either primary or supplemental government income. Continued crop eradication outside the borders of the United States plays a vital role in combating the production of illegal drugs.

Weigh-In

The President's 2004 National Drug Strategy has many programs outlined in its forum that are legitimate in their cause and worthy of financial support by the federal government. Heading the preventative measures of drug use by backing drug testing in public and private schools is very important for keeping students safe. As stated in the research, young people are often enticed through peer pressure to try drugs. If the schools were to implement drug testing for student athletes or programs that involved student participation, such as the marching band, it would be more likely that the student would resist the offer of illegal drugs to continue playing sports or participating in other extra curricular activities. There are many places and situations a young teenager can find themselves in without the immediate supervision of a parent or adult. If the school can raise the stakes to highlight the importance of decision-making, there is a greater chance that the student will realize what is important to them. With drug use among juveniles back on the rise and designer drugs marketed to our youth, effective deterrents put into place will help young people resist the urge. Furthering prevention outreach via media outlets is substantially important in assisting parents to talk with their kids about the dangers of drugs. There are many ways to reach the general public, through television, radio, print media, and the Internet. Promoting conversation starters is an excellent way for the federal government to assist parents with drug education, in the home. Forming anti-drug coalitions in blighted areas or neighborhoods overrun with drug activity is an excellent way to promote community involvement. The explosion of crystal methamphetamine on the streets of the United States put methamphetamine labs in Any town, USA neighborhoods. Community coalitions are proven in their abilities to help law enforcement weed and seed city areas that have been overtaken by drug activity.

To effectively lessen the demand for illicit drugs, the White House recognizes the importance of drug treatment. It is shocking to know that millions of Americans all over this great nation who have been, or still are addicted to drugs. Drug treatment programs are multi-faceted and serve more than one individual need. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "more than 11,000 specialized drug treatment facilities provide rehabilitation, counseling, behavior therapy, medication, case management, and other types of services to persons with drug use disorders." (NIDA, 2005) With drug treatment center locations and the different ways in which drug treatment can be delivered, it is vital that the federal government continue to push for increased funding, along with state and local governments, to help Americans fight their addiction. A 1994 study conducted in California on the effectiveness of drug treatment revealed

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