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Monday, January 24, 2011

Presidential Initiative Supports Military Families

“Every American benefits from the profound sacrifices made by our military men and women. As a veteran, I was honored to attend the release of the Obama Administration’s report on support for military families. When a service member who has dedicated their life to protecting this country suffers from physical, mental health, or substance abuse problems, they do not suffer alone, and we owe these patriots and their families more than gratitude – we owe them our support. ONDCP is committed to providing that support through expanded access to drug treatment for active duty military and veterans, extending our support for veterans courts and through comprehensive efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences.”·

According to a survey conducted by the Department of Defense, one in eight active duty military personnel are current users of illicit drugs. This is largely driven by prescription drug abuse, reported by one in nine service members—more than double the rate compared to the civilian population.

The Obama Administration's FY 2011 Budget request includes nearly $3.9 billion in Federal funding for early intervention and treatment services – an increase of $137 million. This includes $418 million – an increase of $13 million dollars – in direct support of veterans' treatment programs that provide effective, safe, efficient, recovery-oriented, and compassionate care for veterans with substance abuse disorders and mental illness.

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden put forward today nearly 50 commitments by Federal agencies responding to the President’s directive to establish a coordinated and comprehensive Federal approach to supporting military families. Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment is the result of an effort led by the National Security Staff and Domestic Policy Council responding to the Presidential Study Directive-9 calling on all Cabinet Secretaries and other agency heads to find better ways to provide our military families with the support they deserve. The result will be a unified Federal Government approach to help ensure:

•the U.S. military recruits and retains America’s best, allowing it to maintain the high standards which have become a hallmark of our armed forces.

• Service members can maintain both strong families and a high state of readiness;

•family members can live fulfilling lives while supporting their service member(s); and

•the American people better understand and appreciate the experience, strength, and commitment of those who serve and sacrifice on their behalf.

View the entire White House Press Release here.  For more information on National efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences visit: www.WhiteHouseDrugPolicy.gov.

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