Launched in 2017 and scheduled to run through the end of 2020, the first phase of the New Generation Anti-drug Strategy has already succeeded in making counter-drug efforts more effective and checking the spread of new designer drugs. Taking advantage of this momentum, the government has budgeted about NT$15 billion (US$514.6 million) to fund the New Generation Anti-drug Strategy 2.0, a follow-on four-year effort to begin next year aimed at decisively curtailing the harms caused by illicit narcotics.
The strategy calls for comprehensive tactics uniting resources across multiple agencies, localities and disciplines to cut the flows of drugs, criminals and money, as well as strengthen investigations into the source of drugs in schools and coordinate with recidivism prevention mechanisms. These forceful, concerted efforts will help achieve the threefold objective of tracing drugs to the source, bringing appropriate justice to offenders, and freezing the movement of illicit funds.
Four central initiatives
■ Expanded investigations and enhanced enforcement: Greater transnational cooperation in drug investigation will stop shipments of illicit substances at Taiwan's border. Within the country, a focus on aggressive crackdowns, dragnets, and operations to cut supplies, suppress designer drugs and keep narcotics out of schools is a top priority. Planned changes to laws and regulations, meanwhile, will authorize narcotics agents to employ a broader range of technology in their work.
■ Border screening and testing capabilities: Authorities are sharing drug intelligence and enhancing customs risk management and control, as well as stepping up rapid screening at the border to stop the fraudulent import and illegal diversion of precursor chemicals. Drug testing capabilities and capacity are also being improved to better detect drug use.
■ Addiction treatment and sobriety support: Addiction treatment and recovery therapy for people who use drugs will be made more widely available to help speed their reintegration into society, and patients will have greater access to methadone replacement therapy. More addiction specialists and therapy providers will also be trained, while job placement services will aim to boost employment among those with a history of drug use.
■ Student education and campus action: The strategy calls for an all-out effort to raise sensitivity to the harms and dangers of illicit substances and make sure every student has the know-how and skills to reject experimentation and use. The percentage of actionable intelligence arising from campus cases and the completion rate of individual counseling programs in schools are also targeted to rise.