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III. Strategic Goals and Objectives


 
The adverse consequences of drug use can be reduced by lessening the demand for illegal drugs or their availability. Neither approach, however, is sufficient by itself.


Demand Reduction

In a perfect world, eliminating the demand for illegal substances would unilaterally resolve the drug problem eventually, although in the short run we would still have the challenge of releasing the addicted from the grips of their habits. Absent demand, the impetus for the drug trade -- profit -- would disappear. So, too, would the social and health costs of drug abuse. In reality, there will always be a demand for drugs. Some portion of every population will continue to use illegal drugs to escape reality, experience pleasure, follow peer pressure, chase a misguided sense of adventure, or rebel against authority, among other self-destructive reasons. To counter these proclivities, prevention activities must forestall the use of illegal drugs, and education must convey that the consequences of illegal drug use represent too high a price to pay for such behavior.

Instruction about the dangers of drug abuse must be focused on the populations most in need of it -- America’s youth and their mentors. Research indicates that if a young person abstains from using illegal drugs, alcohol, or tobacco until at least age twenty, he or she will almost certainly avoid substance abuse for the remainder of his or her life. Surveys have established that many children abstain from using illegal drugs because an adult they respect -- usually a parent but often a teacher, coach, religious or community leader -- convinced them that using drugs was dangerous. Conversely, studies show that children who use drugs often lack appropriate adult guidance.

When properly informed, most Americans make sound decisions. The challenge is to ensure that our citizens understand that illegal drugs greatly harm both individuals and society. All of us need to recognize that drug use limits human potential. We must make a convincing case that the negative consequences of drug abuse far outweigh any perceived benefit.

We must expand programs that prevent drug use and treat individuals caught in the grip of dependency. The more we can foster drug-free environments -- in schools, workplaces, and communities -- the less drug-induced devastation will occur. For 3.6 million Americans caught in the grip of addictive drugs, we are committed to providing opportunities for recovery. Their effective rehabilitation would result in enormous social, economic, and health benefits. Whether those who become addicted are our families, neighbors, co-workers, the homeless or incarcerated, we must help them become drug-free so that they can enjoy full, productive lives.

Supply Reduction

Since a permanent though varying demand for illegal drugs is likely to persist, we must reduce the supply of available drugs. History has demonstrated that the more plentiful drugs are, the more they will be used. Conversely, the less available drugs are, the fewer people use them. Therefore, we should cut the supply of drugs to our citizens. Drug availability can be decreased by operating against every link in the drug chain from cultivation to production and trafficking. Drug crop cultivation must be addressed both domestically and abroad. Drugs must be interdicted while in transit. The diversion of precursor chemicals must be prevented. Illicit profits must be traced to their criminal sources and, where possible, seized. Trafficking organizations must be broken. Because drug trafficking is fundamentally a profit-oriented enterprise, attacking the economics of every aspect of the illegal drug industry offers a way to reduce drug availability. Interdiction must continue to be a vital component of a balanced supply-reduction effort. Effective interdiction efforts require flexible, in-depth, intelligence-driven operations. Bilateral, multilateral, regional, and international cooperation is critical to the success of any interdiction campaign.

Essential to the reduction of drug availability is the continued development of law enforcement protocols and organizations that can move effectively against sophisticated trafficking organizations. Bilateral and multilateral agreements with foreign governments and cooperation among regional organizations are important when confronting international criminal organizations. Our targets must be the international and domestic drug organizations responsible for the bulk of drug trafficking. We must prevent the introduction of illegal drugs into the United States by shielding our borders and ports of entry, unilaterally where necessary and multilaterally where possible.

Moreover, our activities beyond U.S. borders must recognize that demand for illicit drugs anywhere sustains global supply and traffic that are difficult to exclude from any single country. For this reason, and in compliance with our obligations under international drug control treaties, our cooperation with other countries includes the exchange of information, expertise, and assistance to reduce consumption of illicit drugs in other countries.

While seeking to reduce drug availability, we must respect the rule of law and sovereignty of our partners. Our objective should be to constrain the activities of criminal drug organizations in all aspects of the drug trade and progressively drive them out of business. No dimension of their operations should be immune from counteraction.

Organizational Structures

In order for demand and supply initiatives to work, they must be supported by appropriate organizational structures (including comprehensive, coordinated, community-based strategies) and intergovernmental (federal, state, and local) coordination. Information on which drug policy decisions are based must be timely, accurate, and available to all drug control agencies. Initiatives should be supported by research and the application of emerging technologies. Specific operations must be supported by good intelligence that both anticipates drug trafficking efforts and allows for their criminal prosecution.

We are a great nation with tremendous capacity for organizational innovation and focused commitment of integrated, systemic, problem-solving initiatives. However, we are up against ruthless elements that threaten to undermine our social fabric and harm our citizens. By thoughtful, creative, and energetically-applied programs, we can overcome virtually any challenge.

Drug abuse is insidious. The criminal organizations that traffic in drugs are sophisticated, determined, and indifferent to the destructive impact their merchandise has on our communities. But drug dealers can be bested by integrated efforts to pull our citizens back from the abyss of drug abuse.

Goals and Objectives

The following goals and objectives establish a framework for all national drug control agencies. They are intended to orient the integrated activity and budgets of all governmental bodies and private organizations committed by charter or inclination to reducing drug use and its consequences in America. Over the long term, these goals should remain relatively constant. The supporting objectives allow for measurable progress and can be modified as success is achieved or new challenges emerge.

GOAL 1: EDUCATE AND ENABLE AMERICA'S YOUTH TO REJECT ILLEGAL DRUGS AS WELL AS ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO.

Objective 1: Educate parents or other care givers, teachers, coaches, clergy, health professionals, and business and community leaders to help youth reject illegal drugs and underage alcohol and tobacco use.

Rationale. Values, attitudes, and behavior among our youth are forged by families and supportive communities. Youth alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention programs are most successful when parents and other concerned adults are involved. We must provide adult role models with the information and resources they need to educate young people about the potential consequences of drug use.

Objective 2: Pursue a vigorous advertising and public communications program dealing with the dangers of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use by youth.

Rationale. Anti-drug messages conveyed through multiple outlets have proven effective in increasing knowledge and changing attitudes about drugs. The trend over the past six years of adolescents’ decreased perception of risk connected to drug use correlates with a drop in the frequency of public service announcements. Private sector and non-profit organizations’ anti-drug publicity must be reinforced by government-funded campaigns to change attitudes held by young people about alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

Objective 3: Promote zero tolerance policies for youth regarding the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco within the family, school, workplace, and community.

Rationale. Children are less likely to use illegal drugs or illicit substances if such activity is proscribed throughout society. Schools, workplaces, sports, and communities have already demonstrated the will and ability to reduce drug-usage rates. Such success must be enlarged by concerted efforts that involve multiple sectors of a community working together to implement strategic and focused programs.

Objective 4: Provide students in grades K- 12 with alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention programs and policies that have been evaluated and tested and are based on sound practices and procedures.

Rationale. Schools are critical to motivating children to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. Drug education must reach ever-increasing numbers of youngsters, delay the age of initiation, and convince young people who use illegal substances to stop.

Objective 5: Support parents and adult mentors in encouraging youth to engage in positive, healthy lifestyles and modeling behavior to be emulated by young people.

Rationale. Children listen most to adults they know and love. Mentorship programs contribute to the formation of respectful adult-youth bonds that can help youth resist the false seduction of drugs.

Objective 6: Encourage and assist the development of community coalitions and programs in preventing drug abuse and underage alcohol and tobacco use.

Rationale. Communities are logical places to form public-private coalitions that can influence youth attitudes about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco abuse. More than 4,300 coalitions are already pulling together the efforts of multiple sectors of their communities (e.g., business, criminal justice institutions, civic organizations, faith community, media, medicine, law enforcement, schools, and universities) and have formed comprehensive and inclusive prevention, education, treatment, law enforcement, and after-care strategies.

Objective 7: Create a partnership with the media, entertainment industry, and professional sports organizations to avoid the glamorization of illegal drugs and the use of alcohol and tobacco by youth.

Rationale. Discouraging drug use depends on factual anti-drug messages delivered consistently throughout our society. The media, the entertainment industry, and professional athletes can provide positive role models to reinforce prevention efforts by conveying accurate information about the benefits of staying drug-free.

Objective 8: Support and disseminate scientific research and data on the consequences of legalizing drugs.

Rationale. Drug policy must be based on science, not ideology. The American people must understand that regulating the sale and use of dangerous drugs makes sense from a public health perspective.

Objective 9: Develop and implement a set of principles upon which prevention programming can be based.

Rationale. The educational and emotional needs of young people change with age, the presence of specific risk factors, and from community to community as new generations of young people come of age and different drug challenges emerge. Developing and implementing national research-based principles can help increase the effectiveness of ongoing drug prevention programs.

Objective 10: Support and highlight research, including the development of scientific information, to inform drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention programs targeting young Americans.

Rationale. Prevention programs must be based on what has been proven to be effective. We must influence youth attitudes and actions positively and share techniques for doing so with other concerned organizations.

GOAL 2: INCREASE THE SAFETY OF AMERICA'S CITIZENS BY SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCING DRUG-RELATED CRIME AND VIOLENCE.

Objective 1: Strengthen law enforcement -- including federal, state, and local drug task forces -- to combat drug-related violence, disrupt criminal organizations, and arrest the leaders of illegal drug syndicates.

Rationale. Dismantling sophisticated drug trafficking organizations can be enhanced by a task- force approach. Criminal organizations exploit jurisdictional divisions and act across agency lines. Promoting inter-agency cooperation and facilitating cross-jurisdictional operations will make law enforcement more efficient.

Objective 2: Improve the ability of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) to counter drug trafficking.

Rationale. Areas need special assistance when drug trafficking is of such intensity that it poses extreme challenges to law enforcement agencies. Reinforcing joint federal, state, and local responses to such situations with federal resources can enable drug-related crime to be reduced.

Objective 3: Help law enforcement to disrupt money laundering and seize criminal assets.

Rationale. Targeting drug dealer assets can take profitability out of the illegal drug market. Law enforcement efforts are most effective when backed by anti-money laundering regulations and support from the financial sector (banks, brokerage houses, and other financial institutions) as well as multilateral international protocols criminalizing the movement and laundering of drug proceeds.

Objective 4: Develop, refine, and implement effective rehabilitative programs -- including graduated sanctions, supervised release, and treatment for drug-abusing offenders and accused persons -- at all stages within the criminal justice system.

Rationale. The majority of heavy drug users come in contact with the criminal justice system each year. This interface provides the opportunity to motivate addicts to stop using drugs.

Objective 5: Break the cycle of drug abuse and crime.

Rationale. Our nation has an obligation to assist all who are in the criminal justice system to become and remain drug-free. Recidivism rates among inmates who were given treatment are lower than for prisoners who received no treatment. Drug courts and other treatment programs within the criminal justice system are already proving their effectiveness. By reducing drug usage and addiction among persons in or leaving the criminal justice system, crime will be reduced.

Objective 6: Support and highlight research, including the development of scientific information and data, to inform law enforcement, prosecution, incarceration, and treatment of offenders involved with illegal drugs.

Rationale. Law enforcement programs and policies must be informed by updated research. When success is attained in one community or city, it should be analyzed quickly and thoroughly so that lessons learned can be applied elsewhere.

GOAL 3: REDUCE HEALTH AND SOCIAL COSTS TO THE PUBLIC OF ILLEGAL DRUG USE.

Objective 1: Support and promote effective, efficient, and accessible drug treatment, ensuring the development of a system that is responsive to emerging trends in drug abuse.

Rationale. American citizens and society at large are debilitated by drug abuse. Illness, dysfunctional families, and reduced productivity are costly byproducts of drug abuse. Drug treatment that is efficient and widely available is a sound, cost-effective method of reducing the health and societal costs of illegal drugs.

Objective 2: Reduce drug-related health problems, with an emphasis on infectious diseases.

Rationale. Drug users, particularly those who inject illegal drugs, put themselves and their partners at serious risk. Consequently, drug users and their partners have higher rates of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis, gonorrhea, and tuberculosis.

Objective 3: Promote national adoption of drug-free workplace programs that emphasize drug testing as a key component of a comprehensive program that includes education, prevention, and intervention.

Rationale. Seventy-one percent of current illicit drug users age eighteen and older are employed. Drug users decrease workplace productivity. The workplace is one of the venues where expanded drug-testing, prevention, education, and treatment programs can reach most drug users and where the consequences of drug use can be felt directly.

Objective 4: Support and promote the education, training, and credentialing of professionals who work with substance abusers.

Rationale. Many community-based treatment providers currently lack professional certification. The commitment and experience of these workers should be reflected by a flexible credentialing system that recognizes effectiveness even as professional and educational standards are being developed and implemented.

Objective 5: Support research into the development of medications and treatment protocols to prevent or reduce drug dependence and abuse.

Rationale. The more we understand about the neurobiology of drug addiction, the better is our capability to design interventions. Pharmacotherapies may be effective against cocaine, methamphetamine, and other addictive drugs. Research and evaluation may broaden treatment options, which currently include detoxification, counseling, psychotherapy, and participation in self-help groups.

Objective 6: Support and highlight research and technology, including the acquisition and analysis of scientific data, to reduce the health and social costs of illegal drug use.

Rationale. Efforts to reduce the cost of drug abuse must be based on scientific data. Therefore, national, state, and local leaders should be given accurate, objective information about the effectiveness of treatment programs.

GOAL 4: SHIELD AMERICA'S AIR, LAND, AND SEA FRONTIERS FROM THE DRUG THREAT.

Objective 1: Conduct flexible operations to detect, disrupt, deter, and seize illegal drugs in transit to the United States and at U.S. borders.

Rationale. Our ability to interdict illegal drugs is challenged by the volume of drug traffic and the ease with which traffickers have switched modes and routes. Efforts to interrupt the flow of drugs must be supported by timely and predictive intelligence that is well-coordinated and responsive to changing trafficking patterns.

Objective 2: Improve the coordination and effectiveness of U.S. drug law enforcement programs with particular emphasis on the southwest border, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Rationale. Recent years have seen a heavy incidence of illegal drug flow across the southwest border, in contiguous waters, and from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We need to focus our efforts in these places -- without neglecting other avenues of entry -- by improving intelligence and information-guided operations that allow us to interdict effectively, retain the initiative, and curtail the penetration of drugs into the United States.

Objective 3: Improve bilateral and regional cooperation with Mexico as well as other cocaine and heroin transit zone countries in order to reduce the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.

Rationale. Mexico-- both a transit zone for cocaine and heroin and a source country for heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana -- is key to reducing the drug flow into the United States. So too are the island nations of the Caribbean. The more we can work cooperative arrangements and operations with these countries to enhance the rule of law, the better we can control the flow of illegal drugs. Mutual interests are best served by mutual commitment to reduce drug trafficking.

Objective 4: Support and highlight research and technology -- including the development of scientific information and data -- to detect, disrupt, deter, and seize illegal drugs in transit to the United States and at U.S. borders.

Rationale. Scientific research and applied technologies offer us significant opportunity to interdict the flow of illegal drugs. The more efficient and reliable our detection, monitoring, and search capabilities, the more likely we are to turn back or seize illegal drugs. Research and technology applications must be undertaken with a view toward systematic defeat of drug trafficking efforts.

GOAL 5: BREAK FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC DRUG SOURCES OF SUPPLY.

Objective 1: Produce a net reduction in the worldwide cultivation of coca, opium, and marijuana and in the production of other illegal drugs, especially methamphetamine.

Rationale. Gaining control over the cultivation and production of illegal drugs is key to supply reduction efforts. Cocaine and heroin supply can be easily targeted during cultivation and production. Cultivation requires a large labor force working identifiable coca and opium poppy fields while production requires a large volume of precursor chemicals.

Objective 2: Disrupt and dismantle major international drug trafficking organizations and arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate their leaders.

Rationale. Large international trafficking organizations are responsible for the majority of drug trafficking. They also pose enormous threats to democratic institutions. Their financial resources can corrupt all sectors of society. By breaking them up, we can deny them the economies of scale that have enabled them to be so successful. We can also reduce the damaging effects of drug-related and other transnational crime on our own and other countries’ institutions and societies.

Objective 3: Support and complement source country drug control efforts and strengthen source country political will and drug control capabilities.

Rationale. The success of international drug control efforts hinges on the actions of major drug producing and trafficking countries. The United States must continue assisting countries like Mexico, Peru, and Thailand that demonstrate the political will to attack illegal drug production and trafficking. We must seek to develop the political will and institutional capabilities to reduce drug crop cultivation, drug production, and trafficking in all countries where they are in evidence.

Objective 4: Develop and support bilateral, regional, and multilateral initiatives and mobilize international organizational efforts against all aspects of illegal drug production, trafficking, and abuse.

Rationale. Drug production, trafficking, and abuse are not solely U.S. problems. The scourge of illegal drugs damages social, political, and economic institutions in developed and developing countries alike. The United States must continue to provide leadership and assistance so that an international anti-drug consensus can be formed. Encouraging other nations to stand up against the threat of illegal drugs is in America’s interest.

Objective 5: Promote international policies and laws that deter money laundering and facilitate anti-money laundering investigations as well as seizure of associated assets.

Rationale. Drug traffickers depend on the international financial system to launder illegal drug profits for the ultimate purpose of investing in legal enterprises. Money laundering can be stopped through financial and monetary controls, adoption of international standards, and collaborative investigations.

Objective 6: Support and highlight research and technology, including the development of scientific data, to reduce the worldwide supply of illegal drugs.

Rationale. Research must focus on more effective and environmentally sound methods to eliminate crops and move the cultivators of illicit drugs to legal pursuits. We must also find ways to refine our measurements of drug production around the globe. Technology can be used to detect and monitor drug shipments and prevent the diversion of precursor chemicals.

Measures of Effectiveness

With this strategy we undertake a long-term approach to the solution of the nation’s drug problem. If we are to ensure that progress is being made, measuring success along the way is an imperative. It is for this reason that the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the drug control agencies are establishing a national performance system to measure progress of major drug programs supporting the National Drug Control Strategy, provide feedback for strategy refinement and system management, and assist the Administration in resource allocation.

A measurement system to monitor more than $15 billion in drug programs that shape counterdrug activities across the United States and around the world is a major undertaking and will take several years to put in place. The task, however, is already underway. The Office of National Drug Control Policy has established a new program evaluation office to oversee the design and implementation of the new system. It has developed an architecture for assessing the performance of national counterdrug activities and has initiated efforts to collect, analyze, and report major program performance on an annual basis. In concert with participating agencies, the Office of National Drug Control Policy will develop this fiscal year a first set of targets and measures for congressional review. Each year thereafter, the Administration will adjust the performance targets and measures and modify the reporting systems needed to measure them.

The measurement system will be dynamic, flexible, and responsive as the drug threat changes and our knowledge of how to measure counterdrug activity improves. While no single measure will indicate conclusively the progress achieved, the measurement system as a whole will provide policy makers and managers with new insight about which programs are effective and which are not. It will, therefore, help to guide adjustments to the strategy as conditions change, expectations are met, or failure is noted.


STRATEGIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE 1997 NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL STRATEGY

Goal 1: Educate and enable America’s youth to reject illegal drugs as well as alcohol and tobacco.

Objective 1: Educate parents or other care givers, teachers, coaches, clergy, health professionals, and business and community leaders to help youth reject illegal drugs and underage alcohol and tobacco use.

Objective 2: Pursue a vigorous advertising and public communications program dealing with the dangers of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use by youth.

Objective 3: Promote zero tolerance policies for youth regarding the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco within the family, school, workplace, and community.

Objective 4: Provide students in grades K- 12 with alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention programs and policies that have been evaluated and tested and are based on sound practices and procedures.

Objective 5: Support parents and adult mentors in encouraging youth to engage in positive, healthy lifestyles and modeling behavior to be emulated by young people.

Objective 6: Encourage and assist the development of community coalitions and programs in preventing drug abuse and underage alcohol and tobacco use.

Objective 7: Create a partnership with the media, entertainment industry, and professional sports organizations to avoid the glamorization of illegal drugs and the use of alcohol and tobacco by youth.

Objective 8: Support and disseminate scientific research and data on the consequences of legalizing drugs.

Objective 9: Develop and implement a set of principles upon which prevention programming can be based.

Objective 10: Support and highlight research, including the development of scientific information, to inform drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention programs targeting young Americans.

Goal 2: Increase the safety of America’s citizens by substantially reducing drug-related crime and violence.

Objective 1: Strengthen law enforcement -- including federal, state, and local drug task forces -- to combat drug-related violence, disrupt criminal organizations, and arrest the leaders of illegal drug syndicates.

Objective 2: Improve the ability of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) to counter drug trafficking.

Objective 3: Help law enforcement to disrupt money laundering and seize criminal assets.

Objective 4: Develop, refine, and implement effective rehabilitative programs -- including graduated sanctions, supervised release, and treatment for drug-abusing offenders and accused persons -- at all stages within the criminal justice system.

Objective 5: Break the cycle of drug abuse and crime.

Objective 6: Support and highlight research, including the development of scientific information and data, to inform law enforcement, prosecution, incarceration, and treatment of offenders involved with illegal drugs.

Goal 3: Reduce health and social costs to the public of illegal drug use.

Objective 1: Support and promote effective, efficient, and accessible drug treatment, ensuring the development of a system that is responsive to emerging trends in drug abuse.

Objective 2: Reduce drug-related health problems, with an emphasis on infectious diseases.

Objective 3: Promote national adoption of drug-free workplace programs that emphasize drug testing as a key component of a comprehensive program that includes education, prevention, and intervention.

Objective 4: Support and promote the education, training, and credentialing of professionals who work with substance abusers.

Objective 5: Support research into the development of medications and treatment protocols to prevent or reduce drug dependence and abuse.

Objective 6: Support and highlight research and technology, including the acquisition and analysis of scientific data, to reduce the health and social costs of illegal drug use.

Goal 4: Shield America’s air, land, and sea frontiers from the drug threat.

Objective 1: Conduct flexible operations to detect, disrupt, deter, and seize illegal drugs in transit to the United States and at U.S. borders.

Objective 2: Improve the coordination and effectiveness of U.S. drug law enforcement programs with particular emphasis on the southwest border, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Objective 3: Improve bilateral and regional cooperation with Mexico as well as other cocaine and heroin transit zone countries in order to reduce the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.

Objective 4: Support and highlight research and technology -- including the development of scientific information and data -- to detect, disrupt, deter, and seize illegal drugs in transit to the United States and at U.S. borders.

Goal 5: Break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply.

Objective 1: Produce a net reduction in the worldwide cultivation of coca, opium, and marijuana and in the production of other illegal drugs, especially methamphetamine.

Objective 2: Disrupt and dismantle major international drug trafficking organizations and arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate their leaders.

Objective 3: Support and complement source country drug control efforts and strengthen source country political will and drug control capabilities.

Objective 4: Develop and support bilateral, regional, and multilateral initiatives and mobilize international organizational efforts against all aspects of illegal drug production, trafficking, and abuse.

Objective 5: Promote international policies and laws that deter money laundering and facilitate anti-money laundering investigations as well as seizure of associated assets.

Objective 6: Support and highlight research and technology, including the development of scientific data, to reduce the worldwide supply of illegal drugs.


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