[Dated May 12, 1976. Released May 13, 1976]
Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs
SUBJECT: Cabinet Committee on Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation
The need to provide humane and effective drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services, to balance our law enforcement efforts aimed at drug traffickers, has been clearly established. Given the magnitude of the drug abuse problem and its impact on the health and well-being of our nation, it is vitally important that the efforts of the various departments and agencies of the Federal government responsible for providing these services be integrated into an effective overall program.
In my recent message to the Congress on drug abuse,1 I announced the establishment of a Cabinet Committee on Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation, to have responsibility for oversight and coordination of all Federal activities in this area. You are hereby appointed members of the Cabinet Committee, along with such other members as I may appoint from time to time. The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare will serve as Chairman of the Cabinet Committee.
1 See Item 368.
The Cabinet Committee shall be supported by a Working Group composed of personnel from each Federal department and agency having drug abuse prevention, treatment or rehabilitation responsibility and the Office of Management and Budget. The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall designate an Executive Director of the Cabinet Committee, who shall be Chairman of the Working Group.
The Cabinet Committee shall be responsible for the coordination of all policies of the Federal government relating to the drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services, as well as related research activities. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Federal departments, agencies and offices shall cooperate with the Cabinet Committee in carrying out its responsibilities.
More specifically, the Cabinet Committee shall:
(1) develop and implement the Federal strategy with respect to drug treatment, rehabilitation, prevention and research;
(2) assure proper coordination among Federal drug treatment and rehabilitation programs, including the collection, analysis and dissemination of information;
(3) assure that Federal prevention, treatment and rehabilitation resources are effectively utilized;
(4) provide liaison between the Executive Branch and Congress, State and local governments and the public;
(5) assure implementation of relevant recommendations contained in the Domestic Council's White Paper on Drug Abuse;
(6) develop and monitor a plan for improving job opportunities for former addicts;
(7) evaluate and make recommendations to improve Federal drug treatment and rehabilitation programs; and
(8) report progress to me on October 1, 1976, and periodically thereafter.
In addition to the above on-going responsibilities, the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee, shall work closely with the Attorney General to develop plans for improving the coordination between law enforcement and drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programs.
GERALD R. FORD