Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Obama administration has taken its first stab at crafting its own national drug-control budget priorities (PDF). While it would add new funding for addiction treatment and prevention, critics say the change is incremental and does little to close the huge gap between spending on efforts to reduce the drug supply and those working to reduce demand.

The FY2011 National Drug Control Budget released by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on Feb. 1 includes a 13.4 percent increase in spending on alcohol and other drug prevention programs and a 3.7 percent increase for addiction treatment. ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske says the proposal demonstrates the administration's commitment to "a balanced and comprehensive drug strategy."

"I was hoping for large cuts on the supply side, especially after the previous administration allocated at least $1 billion more each to interdiction and source-country programs that accomplished absolutely nothing," says  drug budget and policy expert John Carnevale. "This nation must stop blaming source countries for our problems and face the fact that we can do more to reduce drug use by focusing on treatment, prevention, and diversion programs."


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