Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
FY 2002 APPROPRIATIONS
The House and Senate cleared the $123.8 billion FY 2002 Labor/HHS/Education spending bill before the end of the first session of the 107th Congress. The House voted 393-30 to adopt the conference report on the bill (HR 3061) on December 19; the following day, the Senate voted 90-7 to adopt the report. The President signed the bill into law on January 10, 2002 [P.L. 107-116]. The bill authorizes $54.2 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), a $5 billion increase over FY 2001. The bill also authorizes $12 billion for the Labor Department and $48.9 billion for the Education Department.
NIH received the largest portion of the DHHS increase, with $23.285 billion, nearly $3 billion more than the FY 2001 NIH funding level. The NIH total actually comes to $22.888 billion after funding for other programs such as Global AIDS and evaluation taps are subtracted. The conference agreement provides a 14.7% increase for the NIH overall. Most institutes received increases between 12% and 14%. NIDA received $888.1 million, a 13.7% increase over FY 2001.
Conferees split the difference on funding the NIH. The Senate bill would have appropriated about $23.7 billion while the House bill would have appropriated about $22.9 billion. The conference committee blocked an attempt by Senate conferees to attach a provision that would expand insurance coverage for mental illness.
FY 2002 funding for programs of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the Labor/HHS/Education bill included the Substance Abuse Block Grant at $1.725 billion, an increase of $60 billion over FY 2001; for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) of $198 million, an increase of $23 million; and for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) of $291.5 million, an increase of $35.5 million.
The Treasury Postal Appropriations Act included FY 2002 funding for the National Anti-Drug Media Campaign at $180 million, a reduction of $5 million from FY 2001; and funding for the Drug Free Communities Act (DCFA) of $50.6 million, an increase of $10.6 million over last year.
Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing Looking the Other Way: Rave Promoters and Club Drugs December 4, 2001
On December 4, the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control (Senators Joseph Biden [D-DE] and Charles Grassley [R-IA], Co-Chairs) held a hearing to examine the use of club and rave drugs. In his opening statement, Senator Biden explained that over the past two years the drug Caucus has held several hearings on the trafficking and use of the drug ecstasy. He said the December 4th hearing was held to take an in-depth look at the phenomenon of the all-night dance parties called raves and discuss events at the federal, state and local level to crack down on rave promoters.
Dr. Glen Hanson, Acting Director, NIDA, joined Asa Hutchinson, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Agency, on the first panel. Dr. Hanson presented some of the latest scientific information about a diverse group of compounds commonly referred to as club drugs. Drugs such as MDMA, methamphetamine, Ketamine, Rohypnol, and GHB are reportedly being used at alarming rates among adolescents and young adults in a wide variety of social settings including raves. Dr. Hanson testified that substantial scientific evidence demonstrates that these drugs are not benign and harmless, as they are often perceived by some users or sometimes portrayed in the popular media. In fact, the scientific evidence is clear. These drugs can have short and long-term detrimental health consequences to both the user and to society in general. Dr. Hanson stated that NIDA would continue to support and disseminate the results of research to prevent and treat drug abuse and addiction, and to help everyone make more informed decisions about these and other substances of abuse. The text of Dr. Hansons formal statement can be found on the NIDA website at www.drugabuse.gov.
OxyContin Hearing Before Senate HELP Committee
Prescription drug abuse and misuse is an important emerging public health problem, and one of particular concern to Members of Congress. NIDA was invited to testify at a hearing in September 2001 before the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee on Abuse of OxyContin, an opioid analgesic prescribed for pain. The hearing, twice postponed, was rescheduled for February 12, 2002. The new focus of the hearing is to address treatment options in rural areas as well as allegations that there has been inappropriate promotion of the drug by the manufacturer. NIDA was asked to submit testimony for the record.
BILLS OF INTEREST
(To view the actual text of any bill, go to http://thomas.loc.gov and enter the bill number in the bill search.)
President Signs Drug Free Communities Act Reauthorization Bill
On December 14, the President signed into law the Drug Free Communities Support Act Reauthorization Bill (HR 2291), which became Public Law, P.L. 107-82. The law reauthorizes for five years the Drug Free Communities Support Program, and authorizes a total of $345 million over that period. Enacted in 1997, the Drug Free Communities Act (P.L. 105-20) established a program of direct grants to community organizations that demonstrate a comprehensive, long-term commitment to reduce drug use among youngsters. The measure also authorizes grants that may be provided to community anti-drug coalitions beyond the terms of their initial grants, and mentoring grants that may be used by coalitions to support the development of other anti-drug groups. The law also establishes a National Community Anti-drug Coalition Institute that will provide education and training for community coalition leaders; develop standards and mechanisms to evaluate the success of coalitions receiving funding; and translate research findings into information that coalitions can use.
HR 1 "No Child Left Behind" - Education Bill Becomes Law
After many months of conference between the House and the Senate, the Education Bill (HR 1) passed both Houses of Congress and was cleared for the President on December 18, 2001 (Congressional Record p. S13422). The final language does not require "prior written consent" as a standard for school-based research, as provided for by the Tiahrt amendment in the House version of the bill. However, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) can do so if they choose, which may impact multi-site school-based research studies.
Among other provisions, the bill preserves the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) program as a separate authority. The final bill specifies that any program or activity funded through the SDFSC program must meet the following "Principles of Effectiveness," which were codified in the bill: (1) be based upon an assessment of objective data about community needs for the activities; (2) be based upon performance measures established by the LEA; (3) be based upon "scientifically based research" that provides evidence that the program or activity will be effective (there is a waiver for innovative programs with a likelihood of success); (4) be periodically evaluated with the results used to improve the program or activity; (5) be based upon an analysis of risk factors and protective factors; and (6) include consultation with parents.
A SDFSC Advisory Committee is established to consult with the Secretary of Education. The Committee shall be composed of representatives from the Department of Education; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse; the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; the Center for Mental Health Services; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; State and local governments, including education agencies; and researchers and expert practitioners.
S. 304 - the Drug Abuse Education, Prevention, and Treatment Act of 2001
On November 29, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary [Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Chairman] ordered reported S. 304, the Drug Abuse Education, Prevention, and Treatment Act of 2001, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The amended legislation is aimed at reducing illegal drug use and trafficking and helping to provide appropriate drug education, prevention, and treatment programs. S. 304 as amended contains a provision requiring the HHS Secretary to enter into a contract with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study to determine if combining NIDA and NIAAA into a National Institute on Addiction would 1) strengthen the scientific research efforts on substance abuse at the NIH and 2) be more economically efficient. The bill also calls for the expansion of drug abuse prevention and treatment research at NIDA. In addition, S. 304 contains provisions requiring that the Directors of NIAAA and NIDA, in conjunction with the Administrator of SAMHSA, 1) ensure results of all current substance abuse research that is set aside for services (and other appropriate research with practical consequences) is widely disseminated to treatment, prevention, and general practitioners in an easily understandable format, 2) ensure the implementation of best practices based on the research, and 3) make technical assistance available to CSAT and CSAP to assist alcohol and drug treatment and prevention practitioners, including general practitioners, to make permanent changes in treatment and prevention activities through the use of successful models. The bill, as amended, omits authorization levels. At the end of the session, the text of S 304 was swept into the Department of Justice Reauthorization bill (HR2215). That measure, as amended, passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on December 20, 2001 (Congressional Record p. S14075).
SENATE CONFIRMED DRUG CZAR NOMINEE
On December 5th the Senate confirmed by voice vote John P. Walters as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Senate Judiciary Committee had approved Walters nomination on November 8th on a vote of 14-5.
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