The strategy focuses on both the public health and public safety aspects of drug use and substance abuse disorders. This policy focuses on addiction disease and on the importance of preventing drug use, as well as providing treatment to those who need it, including those who are involved in the criminal justice system (ONDCP, 2014). This policy also emphasizes support for millions of individuals who are in recovery from substance abuse use disorders involving drugs (ONDCP, 2014). The importance of the policy is to control the drugs in the United States, and ways to prevent drug abuse of the citizens.
The National Control Drug Policy focuses on three main topics which are; prescription drug abuse, drugged driving, and prevention (ONDCP, 2014).
Typically teenagers are one’s who misuse prescription drugs, because they believe these substances are safer than illicit drugs because they are prescribed by a healthcare professional and dispensed by a pharmacist (ONDCP, 2014). “Addressing the prescription drug abuse epidemic is not only a top priority for public health; it will also build stronger communities and allow those with substance abuse disorders to lead healthier, more productive lives” (ONDCP, 2014).
According to the Obama Administration there are four approaches to be taken on the prevention of drugs. The first education, needing to education parents, youth, and patients about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, while requiring prescribers to receive education on the appropriate and safe use, and proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs (ONDCP, 2014). Second, monitoring which is implementing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in every state to reduce “doctor shopping” and diversion, and enhance PDMPs to make sure they can share data across states and are used by health care providers (ONDCP, 2014).
The third proper medication disposal, which is developing convenient and environmentally responsible prescription drug disposal programs to help decrease the supply of unused prescription drugs in the home (ONDCP, 2014). Last is enforcement, which is providing law enforcement with tools necessary to eliminate improper prescribing practices and stop pill mills (ONDCP, 2014).
Americans know about drunk driving, but what are becoming increasingly aware are the dangers of driving with distractions such as text messaging or talking on the cell phone (ONDCP, 2014). Drugged driving is driving under the influence of marijuana, methamphetamine, and other drugs (ONDCP, 2014). ONDCP aims to make preventing drugged driving a national priority on par with preventing drunk driving. To do so, the strategy calls for, encouraging states to adopt per se drug impairment laws; collecting further data on drugged driving; enhancing prevention of drugged driving by education communities and professionals; providing increased training to law enforcement on identifying drugged drivers; and developing standard screening methodologies for drug-testing labs to use in detecting the presence of drugs (ONDCP, 2014).
“A renewed focus on drug prevention is a major component of the Obama Administration’s effort to implement a public health approach to reducing drug use and its consequences” (ONDCP, 2014). Research shows that preventing drug use before it begins is cost-effective, common-sense approach to promoting safe and healthy communities (ONDCP, 2014). ONDCP has a number of ongoing activities related to prevention, including action items outlined in the 2010 and 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, participating on the National Prevention Council, and ongoing programs with Federal partners. The ONDCP prevention programs are Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, Drugged Driving, National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, and Drug-Free Communities Support Program (ONDCP, 2014). Other topics related to ONDCP include Healthcare, Marijuana, and Methamphetamine.
Substance abuse is related to the Affordable Care Act. The ACA was put in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will make health insurance available to many more people, lower health care costs, guarantee more health care choices, and enhance the quality of health care for all Americans (ONDCP, 2014). The ACA includes substance use disorders as one of the ten elements of essential health benefits (ONDCP, 2014). With this being said, all health insurance sold on Health Insurance Exchanges or provided by Medicaid to certain newly eligible adults starting in 2014 must include services for substance use disorders (ONDCP, 2014). Including these benefits in health insurance packages, more health care providers can offer and be reimbursed for these services, resulting in more individuals having access to treatment (ONDCP, 2014). The services that will be covered are currently being determined by the Department of Health and Human Services, and will take into account evidence on what services allow individuals to get the treatment they need to help them with recovery (ONDCP, 2014).
Marijuana is a topic of significant public discourse in the United States, and while many are familiar with the discussions, it is not always easy to find the latest, research-based information on marijuana to answer the common questions about its health effects, or the differences between Federal and state laws concerning the drug (ONDCP, 2014). “The Administration steadfastly opposes legalization of marijuana and other drugs because legalization would increase the availability and use of illicit drugs, and pose significant health and safety risks to all Americans, particularly young people” (ONDCP, 2014).
The production and use of methamphetamine (meth) is a serious threat to the health and safety of our communities. “Meth is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain and has a high potential for abuse” (ONDCP, 2014). Most of the meth abused in the United States comes from foreign or domestic super-labs, although it can also be made in small, illegal laboratories, where its production endangers people in the labs, neighbors, and the environment (ONDCP, 2014). The chemicals in meth usually come from legitimate sources. Chemicals such as pseudoephedrine come from over the counter cold medicines, anhydrous ammonia comes from fertilizer, and red phosphorus is used in matches (ONDCP, 2014). “Meth comes in more than one form; it can be smoked, snorted, injected, or orally ingested, though smoking has become more common recently” (ONDCP, 2014). ONDCP’s solution involves many programs such as National Methamphetamine and Pharmaceuticals Initiative, Anti-Meth Campaign, and Controlling Precursor Chemical (ONDCP, 2014).