The recently released National Drug Control Strategy (2022) from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) lays out a comprehensive plan to, not only enhance access to treatment and increase harm reduction strategies, but also increase implementation of evidence-based prevention programming at the community level. Furthermore, the Strategy provides a framework for enhancing our national data systems to inform policy and to evaluate all components of the plan. However, not only are there several missing components to the Strategy that would assure its success, but there is a lack of structure to support a national comprehensive service delivery system that is informed by epidemiological data, and trains and credentials those delivering evidence-based prevention, treatment, and harm reduction/public health interventions within community settings. This paper provides recommendations for the establishment of such a structure with an emphasis on prevention. Systematically addressing conditions known to increase liability for behavioral problems among vulnerable populations and building supportive environments are strategies consistently found to avert trajectories away from substance use in general and substance use disorders (SUD) in particular. Investments in this approach are expected to result in significantly lower rates of SUD in current and subsequent generations of youth and, therefore, will reduce the burden on our communities in terms of lowered social and health systems involvement, treatment needs, and productivity. A national strategy, based on strong scientific evidence, is presented to implement public health policies and prevention services. These strategies work by improving child development, supporting families, enhancing school experiences, and cultivating positive environmental conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health