Controlling Drug Abuse:

A Status Report

GGD-88-39: Published: Mar 1, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 1988.

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GAO provided information on: (1) drug abuse, availability, trafficking, and production in the United States; (2) federal drug supply and demand reduction efforts; and (3) the costs of these efforts.

GAO found that: (1) the nationwide supply and demand for illegal drugs persists and continues to adversely affect society; (2) trends in major cities reflect national trends regarding drug availability and use, although each city has unique, localized problems regarding particular drugs; (3) federal anti-drug efforts employ a dual strategy aimed at reducing both the supply of and demand for illicit drugs; (4) experts disagree about which anti-drug programs work best and cite the need for such different efforts as increased resources, eradication of drug production by foreign countries, increased drug abuse prevention and treatment programs, and changes in cultural attitudes and values; (5) differing agency priorities, interagency rivalries, conflicts, jurisdictional disputes, and lack of coordination have fragmented federal anti-drug efforts; and (6) congressional attempts to resolve such conflicts have not succeeded in reducing the fragmentation. GAO believes that, while some proposed organizational changes may help reduce interagency conflict and improve federal efforts, such changes require the firm support and commitment of the President and Congress.

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