|Seal of the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy, a part of the Executive Office of the President. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
- Illegal drugs play a central role in criminal acts reinforcing the view that drugs are a public health issue and if treated as so, the crime rate could be reduced
- Cocaine use has declined since 2003, which may have resulted from public education campaigns
- Since 1979 the rate of overall drug use in the U.S. has declined by about 30%
Government officials are now working on a strategy to break the cycle of drugs and crime by promoting substance abuse treatment as opposed to jail for nonviolent offenders. Promoting this strategy would dovetail with the 2600+ drug courts that currently operate in the United States.
Dr. Redonna Chandler of the National Institute on Drug Abuse reminds us "5 million of an estimated 7 million American who line under criminal justice supervision would benefit from drug treatment intervention. But only 7.6 percent actually receive treatment."