New White House Antidrug Plan to Stress Public Health, Criminal Justice Reform


President Obama’s new strategy for fighting drug problems will include a greater emphasis on using public health tools to battle addiction and diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of prisons, reports the Associated Press. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the National Drug Control Policy, will issue this year’s blueprint for drug policy today at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Millions of people will become eligible in less than a year for treatment for substance abuse under the new health care overhaul. “We know that if drug treatment is done early it is usually more effective, and it’s usually less costly than longer term, because drug addiction is a progressive disease,” Kerlikowske told AP. The strategy includes a greater emphasis on criminal justice reforms like drug courts and probation programs aimed at reducing incarceration rates, as well as community-based policing designed to break the cycle of drug use, crime, and imprisonment while steering police resources to more serious offenses.

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