According to the information at http://samhsa.gov/, the United States substance abuse policies are geared towards creating communities that promote emotional health to reduce the likelihood of substance abuse. The policies are focused on education and prevention. For example, National Prevention Week is a SAMSA-supported event dedicated to increasing public awareness of substance abuse and mental health issues. The event is an opportunity to promote prevention, educate about behavioral health issues, and create and strengthen community partnerships. Other programs, events, and resources focused on prevention include Stop Underage Drinking, Too Smart to Start, Communities That Care (CTC), Drug-Free Workplace, and many more. The economic costs of drug use are gigantic in the United States. Furthermore, drug-induced overdose deaths now surpass homicides and car accident deaths in the U.S. The Obama Administration’s plan to reduce drug use in the U.S. includes a science-based plan, the National Drug Control Strategy. According to Dr. Nora Volknow, a person addicted to drugs has lost the ability to exercise free will. According to Gil Kerlikowske, Director, National Drug Control Policy, “drug policy reform should be rooted in neuroscience- not political science. It should be a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue. That’s what a 21st century approach to drug policy looks like.” Science has demonstrated that addiction is a disease of the brain that can be both prevented and treated. The National Drug Control Strategy is focused on education and prevention.
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