Wednesday, April 27, 2011

International Narcotics Control Strategy Report – International Perspective


The United Nations conducted a series of meetings in 1988 to discuss, review and produce an international response to the negative impact caused by upward global trends in illicit drug activities within many borders of countries throughout the world.  The outcome of those discussions produced an international agreement that outlined obligations that each signer agreed to implement in their respective countries.  The agreement was signed by 179 countries including the United States of America. The agreement title that was signed is  1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988 U.N. Convention). 

The 1988 U.N. Convention’s obligations required the signers to establish and take legal actions to prosecute any illicit drug activities within their borders including drug money laundering, illicit drug production, and trafficking.  In addition to those obligations, the convention requires countries to set strict controls on chemicals that can be used to produce illicit drugs and to cooperate in the international efforts to reduce the global illicit drug trade.

In response to the 1988 U.N. Convention, the United States Congress appropriated monies to support the Convention and amended the Foreign Assistance Act (FFA) of 1961 with criteria on how the monies will be used to meet the obligations that the agreement outlined.  The U.S. Congress also added a reporting requirement, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), that is submitted annually by the President.   The President assigned the Department of State the responsibility to produce the annual report and to implement the 1988 U.N. Convention.

The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Division of the Department of State is the inter agency responsible to generate the INCSR, implement the obligations stated in the 1988 U.N. Convention and allocate financial assistance grants to countries as authorized by the amended Foreign Assistance Act (FFA) of 1961.
  • The INCSR report reviews each country’s compliance level to the 1988 U.N. Convention and how that country is cooperate with the United States of America.  The President certifies if a country has taken adequate steps on their own to meet the Convention obligations, if the country is in total compliance with the Convention, or if the country has failed to meet the obligations of the Convention.
  • Financial grants to support a country’s compliance with the 1988 U.N. Convention is dependent on the President’s annual certification status of that country. If a county is not in compliance or is not working towards compliance, then no funding is granted to that country. Furthermore, the report provides a full and complete description of the vital national interest placed at risk if the United States assistance to that country is terminated (FAA § 490).

The Question and Answer section below summarizes the key parts of the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 1, March 2011.


QUESTION 1: What do these countries have in common - Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

ANSWER:  Major illicit drug producing and drug-transit countries - a major illicit drug producing country is one in which 2,471 acres or more of illicit opium poppy is cultivated or harvested during a year; or, 2,471 acres or more of illicit coca is cultivated or harvested during a year; or 12,355 acres or more of illicit cannabis is cultivated or harvested during a year FAA § 481(e)(2). A major drug-transit country is one that is a significant direct source of illicit narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances significantly affecting the United States; or through which are transported such drugs or substances. FAA § 481(e) (5).

QUESTION 2: What do these countries have in common - Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

ANSWER: Production of chemicals - A major source for chemical compounds or essential chemicals that are used in the production of illicit narcotics.

QUESTION 3: What do these countries have in common - Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

ANSWER: Major money laundering activities - a major money laundering country is defined by statute as one "whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking." FAA § 481(e)(7). However, the complex nature of money laundering transactions today makes it difficult in many cases to distinguish the proceeds of narcotics trafficking from the proceeds of other serious crime. Moreover, financial institutions engaging in transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds of other serious crime are vulnerable to narcotics-related money laundering. This year‘s list of major money laundering countries recognizes this relationship by including all countries and other jurisdictions, whose financial institutions engage in transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from all serious crime.

QUESTION 4: How much federal money is spent annually to support the Foreign Assistance Act?

ANSWER:  1.6 Billion Dollars Annually - the money is used to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.  The UN Drug Convention was signed by 179 countries. The United States Congress allocated 1.6 billion dollars in fiscal year 2011 for the following regions: Africa, 35.5 million; East Asia and the Pacific,18.6 million; Europe, N/A; Near East, 178.2 million; South and Central Asia, 554.0 million; Western Hemisphere, 607.4 million; and Other Global Programs, 203.2 million.


The intent of this article is to show how the United States interacts with other countries to slow down or eradicate illicit drug activates in those countries.  The 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is one of many avenues that are used to fight the war on illicit drug activities worldwide.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Addiction Treatment

*A Quick Guide to Finding Effective Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you care for is dependent on alcohol or drugs and needs treatment, it is im­portant to know that no single treatment approach is appropriate for all individuals. Finding the right treatment program involves careful consideration of such things as the setting, length of care, philosophical approach and you or your loved one's needs.

Here are 12 questions to consider when selecting a treatment program:

1. Does the program accept your insurance? If not, will they work with you on a payment plan or find other means of support for you?

2. Is the program run by state-accredited, licensed and/or trained professionals?

3. Is the facility clean, organized and well-run?

4. Does the program encompass the full range of needs of the individual (medical: in­cluding infectious diseases; psychological: including co-occurring mental illness; social; vocational; legal; etc.)?

5. Does the treatment program also address sexual orientation and physical disabilities as well as provide age, gender and culturally appropriate treatment services?

6. Is long-term aftercare support and/or guidance encouraged, provided and main­tained?

7. Is there ongoing assessment of an individual's treatment plan to ensure it meets changing needs?

8. Does the program employ strategies to engage and keep individuals in longer-term treatment, increasing the likelihood of success?

9. Does the program offer counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral thera­pies to enhance the individual's ability to function in the family/community?

10. Does the program offer medication as part of the treatment regimen, if appropriate?

11. Is there ongoing monitoring of possible relapse to help guide patients back to absti­nence?

12. Are services or referrals offered to family members to ensure they understand addic­tion and the recovery process to help them support the recovering individual?

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) provides a toll-free, 24-hour treatment referral service to help you locate treatment options near you.

For a referral to a treatment center or support group in your area, call:

* Information provided by the DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 02-3616 NCADI Publication No. PHD877

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ask For Help

The Air Force policy on illicit drug use is very straight forward - zero tolerance. As members, we are not to participate in any illegal activities that involve the production, distribution, or the use of illicit drugs. However, this article is not going to address why you should not use drugs, but how you can recognize if you, a friend, or a family member may have a substance abuse problem and ways to seek help.

Understand an Addiction

An addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing Brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Can addiction be treated successfully? Yes, there are many new treatment methods that teach a person how to deal with the powerful disruptive effects of an addiction. Can addiction be cured? No, but a person can be taught how to manage and gain control of their addiction so they can live a very positive and productive life. Having an addiction does not need to be a life sentence. The questions below can help you recognize someone with a substance abuse problem. When answering the questions, keep in mind that drug use includes prescription medications, illicit drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.

*Do you have a substance abuse problem?

1. Do you feel like you can't stop, even if you wanted to?
2. Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drug us?
3. Do you need to use drugs to relax or feel better?
4. Do your friends or family members complain or worry about your drug use?
5. Do you hide or lie about your drug use?
6. Have you ever done anything illegal in order to obtain drugs?
7. Do you spend money on drugs that you really can't afford?
8. Do you ever use more than on recreational drug at a time?

If you answered 'yes" to one or more of the questions, you may have a drug problem.

*Reprinted with permission from©2001-2010. All rights reserved. For more information, visit

How to Get Help

The first step to fighting a substance abuse problem is to ask for help by making one phone call to 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or to your Drug Demand Reduction Program Manager at 612-713-1673.