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DRUG MISUSE: Sustained National Efforts are Necessary for Prevention, Response, and Recovery

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Technical Report

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United States Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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Drug misuse-the use of illicit drugs and the misuse of prescription drugs-has been a persistent and long-standing public health issue in the United States. Ongoing drug control efforts seek to address drug misuse through education and prevention, addiction treatment, and law enforcement and drug interdiction, as well as programs that serve populations affected by drug misuse. These efforts involve federal, state, local, and tribal governments as well as community groups and the private sector. In recent years, the federal government has spent billions of dollars and has enlisted more than a dozen agencies to address drug misuse and its effects. This report provides information on 1 trends in drug misuse 2 costs and other effects of drug misuse on society and the economy, and 3 challenges the nation faces in addressing the drug crisis. GAO analyzed nationally representative federal data on drug misuse and deaths from overdoses for 20022018 the most recent available reviewed selected empirical studies published from 2014-2019 and compared GAOs High-Risk list criteria to findings and recommendations in over 75 GAO reports issued from fiscal year 2015 through March 2020.

Subject Categories:

  • Toxicology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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