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Office of National Drug Control Policy, Director John P. Walters

John Walters John P. Walters is the Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)—sworn in on December 7, 2001. As the Nation’s “Drug Czar,” Director Walters coordinates all aspects of Federal drug control programs and spending.

Under Director Walters’ leadership, youth drug use has dropped to its lowest levels since the early 1990s. The latest Monitoring the Future Study, released in December, 2006, indicated that 840,000 fewer young people are using drugs today than in 2001—a 23 percent reduction. Teen marijuana use has dropped 25 percent, and teen methamphetamine, ecstasy, and LSD use have declined 50 percent or more over the past five years.

Emphasizing the need for a balanced approach to reducing drug use, Director Walters has overseen the creation and implementation of several key prevention and treatment programs:

  • The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has been restructured to improve its effectiveness.

  • More than 1,000 schools across the country now use the preventive power of random student drug testing to help young people resist peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol.

  • The number of community anti-drug coalitions supported by ONDCP has grown to over 700.

  • The “Access to Recovery” treatment initiative is providing vouchers for thousands of Americans struggling with addiction.

  • The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral and Treatment program is engaging the Nation’s health care system to diagnose and treat drug abuse, with the Medicaid system now offering reimbursement for such services.

Director Walters has also worked with our international partners to make significant progress in reducing the supply of illegal drugs:

  • The number of domestic methamphetamine labs have dropped 30 percent between 2005 and 2006, and continue downward.

  • Colombian cultivation of coca and production of cocaine have declined steeply, as has cultivation of opium poppy and production of heroin.

  • Working with U.S. authorities, Mexico has demonstrated unprecedented resolve to dismantle violent drug cartels.

  • Working with the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Director Walters has focused on securing international cooperation in the control of pseudoephedrine and other precursor chemicals used to produce synthetic drugs.

Prior to returning to ONDCP, Mr. Walters served as president of the Philanthropy Roundtable. Previously he served at ONDCP as Chief of Staff and as Deputy Director for Supply Reduction and worked in the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities.