U.S. National Drug Control Strategy 2023: Progress Towards Reducing Addiction and Overdose Epidemic
The Biden-Harris Administration has made significant strides in addressing addiction and the overdose epidemic in the United States. In April 2022, the Administration unveiled the 2022 National Drug Control Strategy (Strategy) and the Performance Review Summary (PRS) report, which emphasized both immediate short-term actions to save lives and long-term solutions to lessen drug use and its associated harms, including overdose. The Strategy is designed to aggressively target the two primary drivers of the overdose epidemic: untreated addiction and drug trafficking.
To assess the progress in implementing the Strategy and to evaluate the effectiveness of the Nation’s drug policy efforts, the Biden-Harris Administration established seven goals to be achieved by 2025. These goals are measured against a baseline of 2020 and cover a wide range of drug policy issues, including a general goal to reduce illicit substance use and other specific public health, public safety, and supply reduction issues. Each of these comprehensive long-range goals is accompanied by quantifiable and measurable objectives, with specific annual targets.
The progress in 2021 on each of the strategic goals and objectives for the Nation to reduce the demand for and availability of illicit drugs and their consequences is summarized below. Delta percentages in parentheses denote actuals moving away from the 2025 target:
Objective 1: The number of drug overdose deaths is reduced by 13 percent by 2025.
Objective 2A: The percentage of people meeting criteria for cocaine use disorders is reduced by 25 percent by 2025.
Objective 2B: The percentage of people meeting criteria for opioid use disorders is reduced by 25 percent by 2025.
Objective 2C: The percentage of people meeting criteria for methamphetamine use disorders is reduced by 25 percent by 2025.
Objective 1: Past 30-day alcohol use among young people aged 12-17 is reduced by 10 percent by 2025.
Objective 2: Past 30-day use of an e-cigarette among middle and high school students is reduced by 15 percent by 2025.
These strategic objectives demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling the drug crisis in the United States. By focusing on both immediate and long-term solutions, the Strategy aims to save lives, reduce the impact of addiction on communities, and ultimately create a healthier and safer environment for all Americans. The progress made in 2021 serves as an encouraging indicator that continued efforts in implementing the 2022 National Drug Control Strategy will lead to further success in reducing drug use and its harmful consequences.