ONDCP Priorities

Chronic, hardcore drug use is a disease, and anyone suffering from a disease needs treatment. But many addicts also are criminals who infringe on or violate the rights of others. In these instances, a balance should be created between sanctions for criminal activity and treatment of an addictive disease. There is compelling evidence to support the fact that treatment is cost-effective and provides significant public safety benefits by breaking the cycle of drug use and crime. However, criminal acts must be punished, and tough sanctions often are needed to force drug-addicted criminals to stop using drugs and committing crimes. The National Drug Control Strategy calls for drug treatment and tough, punitive sanctions to be used in a coordinated fashion to improve public safety and to give chronic, hardcore drug users a chance to recover from addiction.

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