Public Laws | Other Legislation
Drug Abuse Education, Prevention, and Control Act
In the United States, drug abuse and addiction are serious threats to public health. Numerous scientific studies of humans and animals have demonstrated that chronic use of drugs, such as alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines, alters the brain in ways that persist after such activity has ceased.
When he introduced S. 304, the Drug Abuse, Education, Prevention, and Control Act, Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) noted in his remarks in the Congressional Record that S. 304 was an important step in the effort to rid our Nation of drug abuse. Senator Hatch acknowledged that a bipartisan consensus had developed in Congress—a realization that supply reduction needed to be complemented with demand reduction in our fight to combat drugs. He said that the time has arrived "...to increase the resources we devote to prevent people from using drugs in the first place and to breaking the cycle of addiction for those whose lives are devastated and consumed by these substances. Only through such a balanced approach can we remove the scourge of drugs from our society." During the 106th Congress, Senator Hatch introduced drug abuse and addiction legislation that was similar in many respects to the provisions outlined in S. 304.
Provisions of the Legislation/Impact on NIH
The following sections of S. 304 would have been of interest to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
- Section 201: Drug Free Prisons and Jails Incentive Grants.
This Section includes language to implement residential drug treatment programs that are science based.
- Section 202: Jail Based Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.
outlined residential, outpatient, and aftercare treatment services in State and local prisons and jails that are science-based treatments. The section included a definition of appropriate substance abuse treatment. The definition read: "appropriate substance abuse treatment means treatment in a program that has been shown to be efficacious and incorporates research-based principles of effective substance abuse treatments as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services."
- Section 203: Mandatory Revocation of Probation and Supervised Release for Failing a Drug Test
would have allowed for three positive drug tests during a year before revocation of probation and supervised release in recognition of the chronic relapsing nature of addiction.
- Section 302: Juvenile Substance Abuse Courts
would have allowed for programs that are comprehensive and include a holistic approach of sanctions, testing, treatment, and aftercare.
- Section 308: Expansion of Research
called for the expansion of drug abuse research. The legislation directed the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to make grants or enter into cooperative agreements to conduct research on drug abuse treatment and prevention. The legislation also would have directed the Director of NIDA to establish, as necessary, up to 12 new centers in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN Centers) to develop and test an array of behavioral and pharmacological treatments and determine the conditions under which new treatments are successfully adopted by local treatment clinics. In addition, this section outlined the importance of rapid dissemination of research findings. This section authorized appropriations in the amount of $76.4 million for fiscal year (FY) 2002 and such sums as may be necessary for FYs 2003 and 2004, for the establishment of the 12 new CTN Centers and for the identification and development of the most effective methods of treatment and prevention of drug addiction, including pharmacological treatments, among juveniles and adults. Furthermore, Section 308 outlined that the amounts appropriated would have supplemented and not supplanted any other amounts appropriated in these fiscal years for research on drug abuse and addiction.
- Section 311: Use of the National Institutes of Health Substance Abuse Research,
as written, identified the research results to be distributed to practitioners as "the results of all current ... research that is set aside for services (and other appropriate research with practical consequences) is widely disseminated to treatment practitioners in an easily understandable format." The language, as written, drew attention to an out-of-date provision of the Public Health Service Act. Title IV, Section 464H(d)(1) and (2), Section 464L(d)(1) and (2), and Section 464R(f)(1) and (2) of the Public Health Service Act require a 15 percent set-aside to carry out health services research for NIDA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute of Mental Health. These Institutes have not been formally reauthorized since 1994; thus, the set-aside has not been legally required since that time. Therefore, Section 311 needed to be modified as follows: "the results of all current ... research that has practical consequences, especially results from services research, is widely disseminated to treatment practitioners in an easily understandable format."
Status and Outlook
S. 304 was introduced on February 13, 2001, and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. This Committee held a hearing on S. 304 on March 14, at which Dr. Alan Leshner, former Director of NIDA, testified about the importance of drug treatment and prevention research. Dr. Leshner also testified about the importance of not settling for "just anything called treatment," but rather understanding that treatment needs to be comprehensive and science-based and attend to the whole person, not just the drug use. On November 29, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the measure with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. On September 25, 2002, parts of S. 304 were incorporated into H.R. 2215 during a conference on that bill. On November 2, H.R. 2215 became Public Law No. 107-273. (See the article entitled "21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act.") There was no further action on this legislation during the 107th Congress.