Monday, March 3, 2008

Prescription Drug Diversion Is Public Relations Focus Of 2008 Federal Drug Strategy

The 2008 White House drug control strategy was finally released on Saturday, March 1. As expected, no new policy initiatives or innovative approaches are being proposed.

The Los Angeles Times reported on March 2, 2008 ("Bush urges new rules on online sales of addictive prescription drugs") that "President Bush called on Congress on Saturday to pass legislation restricting online sales of powerfully addictive prescription drugs, citing a growing number of overdoses. Bush referred to San Diego teenager Ryan Haight as he unveiled the 2008 national drug control strategy in his weekly radio address. Haight overdosed on painkillers he bought over the Internet, prompting Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to introduce the bill that Bush championed Saturday."

According to the Times, Drug Czar John "Walters praised Mexico and Colombia for their help in targeting traffickers and said they had disrupted the cocaine and methamphetamine supply to the U.S. But he singled out Venezuela for failing to cooperate in drug control efforts. 'We stand ready to work' with Venezuela, Walters said. But he noted that many Venezuelan drug flights appeared to leave from airstrips 'where authorities could take control, but that hasn't been done.' He said that drug traffic appeared to be going increasingly to Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. 'It's a huge danger and a growing danger to Venezuela, to Europe, the Caribbean and the U.S.,' Walters said.

The full strategy documents are available from the ONDCP website. Also, a copy of the spending tables from the larger budget document is available from the CSDP archive.