National Drug Control Strategy goals

Drug Policy Question of the Week – 1-22-11

As answered by Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts for the Drug Truth Network on 1-22-11.

Question of the Week: Does the National Drug Control Strategy achieve its goals?

A 2008 Congressional Research Service report describes a document released annually by the Office of National Drug Control Policy:

“Since 1999, the Administration has developed an annual National Drug Control Strategy, which describes the total budget for drug control programs and outlines U.S. strategic goals for stemming drug supply and demand.”

Goals have varied. The 1999 Strategy proposed

“a ten-year conceptual framework to reduce illegal drug use and availability 50 percent by the year 2007.”

The 2002 to 2005 Goals were roughly the same, with the 2003 Strategy calling for a two-year goal of

“A 10 percent reduction in current use of illegal drugs by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders,”

and a five-year goal of

“A 25 percent reduction in current use of illegal drugs by adults age 18 and older.”

The source for the first percent was to reference a Monitoring the Future survey, which found that current use of illegal drugs by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders for the two years following 2003 declined by –5.2%. The other source, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reported that illicit drug use by adults age 12 and older during the five years following 2003 grew by +4.3%. By 2009, the increase was +9.7%.

The National Drug Control Strategy 2010 revised the goals slightly to

Decrease the 30-day prevalence of drug use among 12–17 year olds by 15%,”

and to

Reduce the number of chronic drug users by 15%.”

The National Drug Control Strategy FY 2011 Budget Summary says,

“The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 National Drug Control Budget requests $15.5 billion to reduce drug use…”

These facts and others like them can be found in the Drug Usage and United States policy chapters of Drug War Facts at

Questions concerning these or other facts concerning drug policy can be e-mailed to