Street Drugs, Crime & the Law; National Drug Control Strategy

Summary of President Obama’s National Drug Control Strategy

The 2015 National Drug Control Strategy is aimed at reduction of illicit drug use and its consequences in the United States. This strategy is presented in the form of an evidence-based plan, which helps to balance efforts in addressing public health and public safety issues. This strategy helps to enhance prevention, treatment, and recovery processes related to the disease of drug addiction.  In general, the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy seeks to build a healthier society, in which each member will feel safe and contribute to the prosperity of the country (2015 National Drug Control Strategy).

Actually, the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy is the latest vision of the Obama Administration’s first National Drug Control Strategy, which was published in 2010. The strategy provides an effective course of actions in making joint efforts to considerably reduce the use of illicit drug and prevent its negative consequences in the United States. It has been found that drug use disorder is considered to be a serious disorder of the brain. It would be wrong to consider it a moral degradation. Any disease should be prevented and treated in a proper way. There are several core areas identified in the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy, including prevention of the use of illicit drug in all communities throughout the United States; developing new health care interventions; placing emphasis on integration of treatment options for drug use disorders into health care services and providing supporting recovery opportunities; finding effective ways to break the cycle of drug use, criminal behavior, and incarceration; prevention of the spread of drug trafficking and drug production at the local level; finding ways to strengthen international partnerships; and enhancing the functioning of information systems to effectively deal with the problems of drug use and its consequences. These core areas are described in seven chapters of the Strategy (2015 National Drug Control Strategy).

In addition, the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy provides description of the two policy focuses, namely the actions aimed at prevention of prescription drug misuse and heroin use and the actions aimed at addressing drugged driving. There are four main elements of the Prescription Drug Action Plan, which include education, monitoring, safe storage and disposal, and enforcement. These four elements are significant as they highlight the need for drug prevention, early identification of the problem, timely treatment and effective recovery support for drug abusers, as well as foster the development and implementation of enhanced enforcement activities.

Besides, the President’s Strategy is considered to be a national strategy in scope as it refers to the national efforts to reduce drug use. Undoubtedly, the implementation of this strategy requires the use of effective joint actions of federal, state and local government agencies, as well as relevant international organizations, nongovernmental institutions, academia, private sector, and all Americans. The problem of illicit drug use is an acute one in modern society and requires continued partnership with relevant organizations to achieve positive outcomes (2015 National Drug Control Strategy).

Thus, the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy is specially designed to address the needs of American citizens, facilitating the effectiveness of the established drug-control measures locally through the proper and timely provision of relevant information on drugs and illicit drug use for communities and organizations. The 2015 National Drug Control Strategy can be used as a guide for shaping new initiatives. In addition, the Strategy can be used as a source of accurate and comprehensive information  regarding the key actions implemented by the federal government to reduce drug abuse, control drug production and eliminate drug trafficking. Generally speaking, the 2015 National Drug Control Strategy contributes to positive changes in the life and development of American society.

My own model for a National Drug Control Strategy which reflects my views on solving the U.S. drug problem

In order to develop an effective model for a National Drug Control Strategy which reflects the criminal, medical and educational views on solving the U.S. drug problem, it is necessary to address the issues using the three prong approach, namely law enforcement, treatment and education. The drug problem is an acute one in the United States. The war on drugs continues to exist. Although the federal government spends much money on drug control in the United States, thousands of dealers and drug users are imprisoned on drug charges (Boyum & Reuter, 2005). The National Drug Control Strategy should be well-developed to address drug problem efficiently. According to researchers, “drug use by American youth peaked in 1979 followed by a gradual decline that lasted until 1991”(Botvin, 1998, p. 225). Since then, the prevalence of drug use by students has been reduced, but there are still many people who face the problem of illicit drug use. They need support. According to researchers, “efforts to combat the problem of drug abuse have involved a combination of strategies, including education, treatment and law enforcement”(Botvin, 1998, p. 225). Thus, there is a need to include three major elements as a part of the solution to the drug problem, namely law enforcement, treatment and education strategies.

Law enforcement strategy to solve the problem of drug use in the United States

It is known that there is a close link between drugs and crime. The drug problem can be solved easily if law enforcement strategy is properly developed and implemented at the local level. Law enforcement strategy can help to stop drug use disrupting the market of drug distribution. The major law enforcement initiatives that should be implemented to deal with drug users include regular drug raids, improved surveillance practices, well-organized undercover operations, arrests of drug users and drug sellers, and enhanced intelligence. Law enforcement strategy can help to eliminate open and close drug markets that pose a serious threat to American citizens (Boyum & Reuter, 2005).

In addition, it is necessary to improve cooperation between law enforcement agencies to ensure effective response to drug-related cases. One of the effective methods to reduce drug-related crime is to use community policing. Undoubtedly, the proper education and training of law enforcement officials should be provided to succeed in combating drug use. Special equipment should be available to conduct investigation (Boyum & Reuter, 2005).

Furthermore, recent research studies suggest that “people typically use alcohol, tobacco and then marijuana, so called ‘gateway drugs’, prior to any potential use of ‘hard drugs’ like cocaine powder, crack and heroin” (Golub & Johnson, 2002, p. 5). Law enforcement personnel should be focused on fighting the use of gateway drugs by young people and adults to achieve success in drug abuse prevention. This approach should be used by all law enforcement agencies in finding the proper methods to arrest drug users and prevent step-by-step production and distribution of illicit drugs.

Treatment strategy to solve the problem of drug use in the United States

It is possible to reduce drug abuse in the United States using effective treatment strategy. Prevention should be coupled with treatment methods to achieve positive outcomes. Due to effective treatment strategy, it is possible to succeed in recovery practices. The treatment strategy related to prevention of drug abuse may have some significant direct and indirect effects that should be considered by health care providers. The improvement of drug use related treatment services in community settings should be controlled by the local and state officials through effective evaluation programs.

In fact, it is very important to ensure the provision of reliable and accessible treatment services for heavy drug users, including methadone and different opiate maintenance therapies (Boyum & Reuter, 2005). According to recent study, “illicit drug use is an important contributor to the global burden of disease”(Degenhardt et al., 2013, p. 1564). It is crucial to develop efficient strategic actions and procedures aimed at to reduction of disease burden of opioid dependence and injecting drug use. It is recommended to foster the delivery of opioid substitution treatment and the implementation of needle and syringe programs (Degenhardt et al., 2013).

In general, the treatment strategy to solve the problem of drug use in the United States requires engaging not only adolescent an adult drug users, but also their families in therapy. According to researchers, “the intervention method is based on strategic, structural, and systems concepts”(Szapocznik et al., 1988, p. 552). In order to overcome resistance to treatment, there is a need for developing certain patterns of interactions that could help to enhance communication skills and make the process of treatment easy to access.

Education strategy to solve the problem of drug use in the United States

Education strategy can help to stop drug use before it starts through prevention provided by schools, colleges and universities, as well as by parents and family members. There is a need for developing effective evaluations of the programs specially designed to prevent drug use among children and adolescents. School-based and mass-media efforts should be improved through effective control over the proposed initiatives. Recent studies show that “large numbers of US high school seniors put themselves and others at great risk of harm by driving after using marijuana or other illicit drugs or drinking alcohol or by riding in a vehicle whose driver had used marijuana, other illicit drugs, or alcohol” (O’Malley & Johnston, 2013, p. 2027). This fact means that stronger efforts should be made by schools, colleges and universities to combat student driving under the influence of illicit drugs.

Moreover, education programs should be delivered by well-trained professionals. There is a need for the development of effective training programs for teachers and professors to combat drug problem in schools. Besides, local school districts should collaborate with law enforcement agencies and health care providers to guarantee positive outcomes in reduction of the negative effects of drug use in the United States. According to recent studies, the implementation of effective evaluation programs can help to determine how specific youth training practices influences students’ motivation to use illicit drugs (Catalano et al., 2004). It is necessary to understand that prevention can be shifted from a single problem of drug abuse focus to other factors that have a strong impact on youth development (Catalano et al., 2004). This fact means that the education strategy aimed at solving the problem of drug use in the United States should be focused mainly on providing educational opportunities to all students and adults at the local level. Sharing information about the negative effects of drug use should be provided on a regular basis.

In conclusion, it is necessary to highlight the significant role of the National Drug Control Strategy, which helps to solve the U.S. drug problem in a proper way. Much money should be spent by the government to address drug abuse at local and state levels. Due to collaborative efforts, it is possible to develop and implement effective prevention and treatment strategies and ensure easy access to the information regarding the negative effects of drug use.


2015 National Drug Control Strategy. Office of National Drug Control Policy. The White House Administration. Retrieved from:<>

Botvin, G. J. (1998). “Preventing Adolescent Drug Abuse Through Life Skills Training: Theory, Methods and Effectiveness,” in Social Programs that Work ed. by Jonathan Crane. Russell Sage Foundation.

Boyum, D. & Reuter, P. (2005). “Are we Losing the War in Drugs? An Analytic Assessment of the US Drug Policy,” American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy  Research. Retrieved from:

Catalano, R. F., Berglund, M. L., Ryan, J. A., Lonczak, H. S., Hawkins, J. D. (2004). “Positive Youth Development in the United States: Research Findings on Evaluations of Positive Youth Development Programs,” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 59 (1): 98-124.

Degenhardt, L., Whiteford, H. A., Ferrari, A. J., Baxter, A. J., Charlson, F. J., Hall,W. D. et al. (2013). “Global burden of disease attributable to illicit drug use and dependence: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010,” The Lancet, 382 (9904): 1564–1574.

Golub, A. & Johnson, B. D. (2002). “The misuse of the ‘Gateway Theory’ in US policy on drug abuse control: A secondary analysis of the muddled deduction,” International Journal of Drug Policy, 13(1): 5–19.

O’Malley, P. M. & Johnston, L. D. (2013). “ Driving After Drug or Alcohol Use by US High School Seniors, 2001–2011,” American Journal of Public Health,103(11): 2027-2034.

Szapocznik, J., Perez-Vidal, A., Brickman, A. L., Foote, F. H., Santisteban, D., Hervis, O., Kurtines, W. M.(1988). “Engaging adolescent drug abusers and their families in treatment: A strategic structural systems approach,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol 56(4): 552-557.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

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[Accessed: May 24, 2022] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

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"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]
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