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August 07, 1996 - Image 12

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-08-07

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~12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, August 7, 1996
Drug czar seeks input on trends
from University researchers

..By Jennifer Harvey general and a total victory" he said. "I
and Laurie Mayk
Daily Editors think we need to go for the root causes
and also treat the pain, - take a holis-
The University of Michigan campus tic approach."
is not only one of the battlegrounds in Johnston agreed that using soldiers of
the "war on drugs," it is now one of the war as a metaphor for facing off with
resources the federal government is drugs and drug abuse is an outdated
using to fight it. approach with limited modern use. "The
U.S. Cabinet member Gen. Barry metaphor 'war on drugs' is not helpful
McCaffrey, director of the office of any longer. It's successful to motivate the
National Drug country (but) the
Control Policy, metaphor breaks
met with down later on
University Profs. because war usu-
Lloyd Johnston ally has an end
and Rick Price in and a clear win-
a closed session f ner, and drug
Friday to garner ' abuse doesn't
input about the have either," he
status of drug said.
treatment pro- Johnston said
grams in the the briefing at the
United States. University was to
The ongoing f am i li a r i z e
battle with sub- McCaffrey with
stance abuse is the Monitoring
ill-named, how- the Future study,
ever, McCaffrey 9 an ongoing series
said in an inter- ., of national sur-
view with The veys of five differ-
Michigan Daily. ent sectors of the
McCaffrey said population and the
drug-abuse pre- JONATHAN LURIE/Dalys trends in drug use
vention and treat- Barry McCaffrey, director of the federal within them.
ment language Office of National Drug Control Policy, "It was a
needs to be came to campus last Friday to meet tremendously
rethought in with University researchers. beneficial semi-
preparation for nar," McCaffrey
imminent changes in drug-abuse pre- said.
vention. He said he thought the phrase "We're writing the '98 budget right
"war on drugs" was no longer effective, now," McCaffrey said, noting that he
calling it a "terrible metaphor." wanted to gather as much input as pos-
"We ought to think (of drug abuse sible about the status of the programs
prevention) in terms of a cancer. If that would be affected by a five-year
there's a war, there's a campaign and a budget for drug-prevention measures.

Although the group "didn't really
talk budget-specific," federal financial
support for the cause is crucial to its
success, Johnston said.
"The overall budget for dealing with
the drug problems has grown immense-
ly over the years," he said.
McCaffrey said studies performed by
researchers at the University's Institute
for Social Research help mold public
policy. "We're (looking at what) the
academic world can provide to help the
policy world" he said.
"The University of Michigan is
instrumental in providing correct
assessment in what's going on in
America," McCaffrey said.
One influential study, the Drug
Abuse Treatment System Survey, began
in 1988 under the direction of Johnston.
Price and former University researcher
Tom D'Aunno, now with the University
of Chicago. The study, which involved
detailed interviews with program staffs
was repeated in 1990 and 1995.
Researchers collected data on topics
ranging from
staff characteris-
tics to treatment (Thes
goals, and from
licensing to types have bee
of services
offered from to under
nearly 400 drug
treatment units in what we
each of the three
years.
"(These ) _
efforts have been
critical to understanding what we're
doing," McCaffrey said.
Price said the study's investigators are
able to talk about trends and not just
specifics of drug-treatment programs
because they have data on three detailed
points in time over seven years. "As far
as we know, it's the only national proba-
bility sample of such programs," he said.
"We're basically trying to answer two
questions: 'Are the programs operating
at known or desired standards of care?'
and 'Why or why not?"' D'Aunno said.
"We're trying to see if services are
responsive to different important demo-
graphic groups they serve," he said.
D'Aunno said the project looks to
see if the programs are meeting the
needs of women, women with children,
and racial and ethnic minority groups.
"We're also checking to see if they're
engaged in effective HIV prevention
counseling," D'Aunno said.
D'Aunno said the investigators also
look to see "if managed care is cutting
services in ways that are not effective."
Price said one detectable trend
involves a decrease in the supple-
mental services available to those
enrolled in drug treatment programs.
"It used to be the case for people

A young Detroiter rolls a joint Monday night. According to statistics pr(
the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 12.6 million Americans used
on a monthly basis in 1994.

v
.
1
)
s
'i
.

who need this kind of treatment to
have other needed services like med-
ical examinations and vocational
assistance'" Price said. "But these
additional, crucial services have
been stripped away by budget cuts."
"It is basical-
ly stripped-
e) efforts down counsel-
ing without as
,n critical many support
ive services,
tanding Price said.
Another rec-
Fre doing," ognizable trend
Price said, is that
Barry McCaffrey "services have
Drug czar become part of
the general
chaos in the health care industry." Price
said that because of drug-treatment pro-
grams' connections with HMOs, the pro-
grams are "increasingly experiencing
constraints."
Price said a third recognizable trend
is a deficiency in supplemental AIDS
counseling for those in drug treatment
programs. "It's not nearly as much as
we need," Price said.
Price said neither lie nor Johnston
offered any financial recommendations
to McCaffrey, but only shared their
knowledge of social trends. "We're in
the business of trying to tell people
what's going on around the country
Price said.
D'Aunno said the project's investiga-
tors are currently working ots "special-
ized studies, getting into survey topics
in much more detail:"
D'Aunno said he expects to ask the
National Institute ot lDrug Abuse for
further funding in the future to finance
another wave of the study, now based at
the University of Chicago. He said he
expects to submit the futnding request in
the fall of 1997. If approved. it would
fund the collection of new data in the
winter of 1998.
D'Autnno said he expects the

research team will still draw most c
key contributors from the lUniversity o
Michigan faculty.
"Our most important contributio
lie in the future," D'Aunno said.
Although the success of various cam-
paigns may vary by generation an
social background, the fact that analyst,
can compare the effects ofsvarious treat
ments reveals much about the "disease'
itself, Johnston said.
Johnston cited a period of declilis-'
drug use from the late '70s to early
as one example that American value
can and have been influenced though
out history.
"The more they become aware of thi
dangers of a drug, the less likely they
are to use it," Johnston said.
McCaffrey asked Johnston to arrang
a seminar for him to attend with othe
University specialists and experts in thi
field, Johnston said. Johnston also*
McCaffrey left campus with a cleare
picture of the Monitoring the Futuri
study and plans to include Johnston'
research and charts into his presenta
tions across the country.
U.S. Drug Use
. There are an estimated
2.7 million hardcore drug
users in the U.S. W
. In 1993 alone,
Americans spent $49 bil
ion on illegal drugs.
The social cost of drug
use is estimated at $67
billion annually.
8 In 1994. 12.6 million
Americans used illicit
drugs on a monthly basis.

Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, talks with
police he accompanied on a drug bust in Detroit last week.

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