In 2011, President Obama issued the first-ever Presidential Proclamation designating October as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. This tradition will continue in 2013, as parents, youth, schools, businesses, and community leaders across the country join in this month long observance of the role that substance abuse prevention plays in promoting safe and healthy communities.
The economic costs of drug use are enormous: In 2007 alone, illicit drug use cost our Nation more than $193 billion due to lost productivity, healthcare, and crime. But the human costs are worse. Science demonstrates that addiction is a disease of the brain—a disease that can be prevented and treated, and from which people can recover. The Administration’s drug policy reflects this understanding by emphasizing prevention and access to treatment over incarceration, pursuing “smart on crime” rather than “tough on crime” approaches to drug-related offenses, and support for early health interventions designed to break the cycle of drug use, crime, incarceration, and re-arrest.