“I am pleased to transmit the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, a 21st century approach to drug policy that is built on decades of research demonstrating that addiction is a disease of the brain—one that can be prevented, treated, and from which people can recover. The pages that follow lay out an evidence-based plan for real drug policy reform, spanning the spectrum of effective prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice, law enforcement, and international cooperation. Illicit drug use and its consequences challenge our shared dream of building for our children a country that is healthier, safer, and more prosperous. Illicit drug use is associated with addiction, disease, and lower academic performance among our young people. It contributes to crime, injury, and serious dangers on the Nation’s roadways. And drug use and its consequences jeopardize the progress we have made in strengthening our economy—contributing to unemployment, impeding re-employment, and costing our economy billions of dollars in lost productivity These facts, combined with the latest research about addiction as a disease of the brain, helped shape the approach laid out in my Administration’s first National Drug Control Strategy—and they continue to guide our efforts to reform drug policy in a way that is more efficient, effective, and equitable. Through the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans will be able to obtain health insurance, including coverage for addressing unfair sentencing disparities, providing alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent substance-involved offenders, and improving prevention and re-entry programs to protect public safety and improve outcomes for people returning to communities from prisons and jails. And we have built stronger partnerships with our international allies, working with them in a global effort against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, while also assisting them in their efforts to address substance use disorders and related public health problems.”
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