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June 1, 1994

Military's Counterdrug Policy Restructured

JAMA. 1994;271(21):1639-1641. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510450011005

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DEFENSE DEPARTMENT officials are making changes in the military's 5-year war on drugs.

For one thing, there probably will be fewer mentions of its being a war.

Brian E. Sheridan, deputy assistant secretary of defense for drug enforcement policy and support, says the term drug war (since the Department of Defense was drafted into the counterdrug effort in 1989) has implied misleadingly that battle lines are clearly drawn and a day of victory can be predicted.

His first year in this assignment, he says, has taught him the importance of recognizing that illicit drug use is a deepseated social problem to be addressed by many agencies in a variety of ways and over the long term.

Supporting Role Suggested  In that regard, the Clinton administration has announced a 1994 National Drug Control Strategy, indicating that numerous agencies should cooperate to attack the drug problem simultaneously in various ways. Sheridan says

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