Assistant Secretary William R. Brownfield for Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs today reported that drug use in the United States has dropped substantially – declining by approximately thirty percent over the past thirty years.
In his statement at the General Assembly Third Committee Debate on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and International Drug Control. Mr. Brownfiled highlighted that the challenge to societies from drugs and crime is not new.
“Drugs endanger the health and safety of our citizens; deprive our youth of their potential; reduce our national productivity; drive up our health care costs; and fund transnational criminal organizations. Drug use in the United States continues to be a serious problem, especially the rising abuse of prescription drugs.” – Mr. Brownfield
According to Mr. Brownfield, to build on this progress, the United States developed a National Drug Control Strategy that outlined a comprehensive and balanced public health and public safety approach to reduce drug use and its consequences.
“To support the strategy, we committed over $10.3 billion dollars in this past year to programs which support prevention, early intervention, access to treatment, and the expansion of support for people in recovery. An additional $9.2 billion dollars was provided for our domestic law enforcement efforts; $3.8 billion for interdiction; and $2.3 billion for our international cooperation and assistance.” – Mr. Brownfield
He noted that in response to the unprecedented pressure, drug traffickers have adapted and modernized their methods and have expanded their reach to new areas. They tap into the tremendous illicit profits available, including the capacity to manufacture synthetic drugs, diverting the chemicals needed to produce them, penetrating financial institutions to launder and move monies, exploiting our transportation networks, and even corrupting the political institutions. He said no country is safe from these traffickers.
“Transnational crime groups rely on our global economy and instantaneous communication systems. They exploit the obstacles that our law enforcement agencies face when operating beyond national borders. International cooperation, the key stone of this body, is the foundation for defeating these shared challenges.” – Mr. Brownfield