U.S. opens new chapter in counter-narcotics fight (InfosurHoy)

By BRIAN WAGNER | August 8, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has established public health programs to boost treatment and prevention efforts that will reduce substance abuse levels and the demand for illegal drugs. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has established public health programs to boost treatment and prevention efforts that will reduce substance abuse levels and the demand for illegal drugs. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A. – The United States is opening a new front in the battle against illicit drug use, but one that does not involve armed enforcement agents tracking down illegal shipments or jailing drug traffickers.

Instead, public health programs are being deployed to provide treatment and prevention efforts that will reduce substance abuse levels and the demand for illegal drugs.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has promoted the current National Drug Control Strategy as a new chapter in its counter-narcotics fight. But what distinguishes the current policy from the past is officials are reframing the drug problem in the context of public health solutions.

“This approach is built on decades of research demonstrating that addiction is a disease of the brain,” Michael Botticelli, the acting director of National Drug Control Policy, said at a meeting of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission in May. “And we are working to ensure prevention programs and treatment services, and the way they are provided, are in line with this reality.”

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