Demand Reduction Program
DEA is not only a very effective law enforcement agency, but it is also committed to reducing the demand for drugs –a critical complement to our primary law enforcement mission. Drug prevention is one of the seven priorities stated in DEA’s vision:
"Support initiatives to reduce the demand for drugs and give assistance to community coalitions and drug prevention initiatives."
DEA knows that to combat the demand for drugs it takes a three-tiered approach, law enforcement, prevention and treatment. Through DEA’s Demand Reduction Program, (DRP) we disseminate current information on the prevalence of illicit drug use and the negative health effects of illicit drugs. DRP staff develops brochures, fact sheets, drug abuse curricula, and disseminates information through presentations at conferences and school forums and two websites targeting parents and teens. A major component of our program includes the collaboration with various prevention partners who include other federal agencies, national and regional prevention organizations, law enforcement organizations, community coalitions, fraternal and civic organizations, youth-serving agencies, state and local government, and school districts.
In 1986, DEA created the Demand Reduction Section to stimulate, support, and coordinate
DEA's prevention activities throughout the nation. Over the years, DEA's Demand Reduction Program has evolved to meet the challenges of changing patterns of drug use and abuse, to integrate the continued advancements in the field of substance abuse prevention, and to support our partners who present significant opportunities for involvement in the work of prevention. DEA’s special agents provide drug trend information in their local communities and at professional educational forums, dependent on their office’s priorities.
The Demand Reduction Program Strategy
The Demand Reduction Program uses three major concepts of drug prevention research as the core of our strategy to develop and disseminate effective drug information targeting youth and parents and caregivers. Both youth and parents and caregivers need to be informed of the harmful effects of illicit drug use.
DEA also maintains two web sites to provide information on the harmful effects of drugs. The website, www.JustThinkTwice.com targets youth and the website www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, targets parents and caregivers.