According to a statement issued by US drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske and reported by the Partnership at Drugfree.org, illicit drug use in the United States, particularly cocaine and methamphetamine abuse, is on the decline. Mr. Kerlikowske, who is the Director of the U.S. National Drug Control Policy, spoke to the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission earlier this week saying that, in the past five years, cocaine use has decreased by 40 percent, and methamphetamine use by 50 percent. Overall, he added, drug use in the United States has dropped by a third since it’s height in the 1970s.
In his remarks to the commission, Kerlikowske noted that Obama’s drug policy, which focuses on treatment instead of incarceration, has diverted 120,000 people into drug treatment programs each year. He also discussed the efficacy of such strategies to reduce drug abuse, including Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, which aid in the early detection of the signs and symptoms of drug abuse. He also added that “The Affordable Care Act is also revolutionary, because for the first time, it makes drug treatment a required benefit for all Americans who suffer from substance abuse disorders – nothing short of a revolution in how we deal with substance use in the U.S.”