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Coordination Needed for Prevention Efforts

By May 1, 2013

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The government's goal of reducing teen drug abuse by 15% before the year 2015 is not being achieved and a lack of coordination between agencies could be partially to blame. Teen use of some drugs has decrease, but those decreases have been offset by the increase in marijuana and prescription drug misuse.

The government agency responsible for federal program accountability says there is too much overlap in prevention efforts.

A report from the Government Accountability Office (GOA) shows that some progress has been made, but most of the goals of 2010 National Drug Control Strategy have not been met.

The report found that the government's programs to prevent and treat drug abuse are distributed among 15 different agencies, some of which provide overlapping services.

Fragmentation and Overlap

"These programs could provide or fund one or more drug abuse prevention or treatment service that at least one other program could also provide or fund, either to similar population groups or to reach similar program goals," the report said. "Such fragmentation and overlap may result in inefficient use of resources among programs providing similar services."

The GAO found overlap in 59 of the 76 programs designed to fight drug abuse. The report also revealed that officials from 29 of those program currently do not participate in any coordination efforts with other programs.

The report said the Office of National Drug Control Policy should look for more opportunities to coordinate programs and reduce overlap.

Source: United States Government Accountability Office: Report to Congressional Requesters. "Office of National Drug Control Policy - Office Could Better Identify Opportunities to Increase Program Coordination." March 2013.

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