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Homeland Security

12 February 2003

White House Announces Anti-Drug Strategy

(Priorities stress prevention, recovery programs, disruption of drug
markets) (1130)
The White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) rolled
out the Bush administration's plan for countering drug trafficking and
substance abuse February 12. The top priorities identified in an ONDCP
press release are stopping substance abuse before it starts, healing
the nation's drug abusers and disrupting the profit flow in drug
The goal to disrupt the market is based on the idea that drug
traffickers will get out of the business if governments can make it
very difficult for them to earn profits. In another statement released
by ONDCP, Director John Walters said, "We must make drugs scarce,
expensive, and of unreliable quality. Reducing the availability of
dangerous substances will keep our children healthy and complement our
efforts to reduce the demand for drugs. We look forward to working
with our international partners and domestic law enforcement agencies
to eliminate the misery for which the illegal drug industry is
The Bush administration is proposing $731 million in funding for the
Andean Counterdrug Initiative to be applied in Bolivia, Brazil,
Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
The $11,700 million budget identified by the Bush administration for
implementation of the National Drug Control Strategy also increases
funding for the Drug Free Communities Support Program and recovery
programs for drug abusers.
Following is the text of the ONDCP press release:
(begin text)
White House Office on National Drug Control Policy
February 12, 2003
One year ago today, the President's new Strategy announced the
ambitious goals of reducing drug use by 10 percent over two years, and
25 percent over five years. Today, ONDCP Director John Walters will
unveil the President's new National Drug Control Strategy for 2003,
which reports initial progress toward meeting those goals, highlighted
by reductions in drug use among young people that are on track for
meeting the Strategy's two-year objectives. The Strategy also
announces Recovery Now, a new initiative funded with $600 million over
three years that will expand access to substance abuse treatment while
at the same time driving accountability into the treatment system.
Background on the National Drug Control Strategy: The Strategy
proposes a fiscal year 2004 budget of $11.7 billion for drug control.
That budget will serve the Strategy's three core priorities:
-- Stopping drug use before it starts
-- Healing America's drug users
-- Disrupting the market
-- Stopping Drug Use Before It Starts: Consolidating the initial
reductions in drug use by young people will require action by all
Americans through education and community engagement. In homes,
schools, places of worship, the workplace, and civic and social
organizations, Americans must set norms that reaffirm the values of
responsibility and good citizenship while dismissing the notion that
drug use is consistent with individual freedom. Our children
especially must learn from an early age that avoiding drug use is a
lifelong responsibility.
-- The Strategy ties national leadership with community-level action
to help recreate the formula that helped America succeed against drugs
in the past. The President's budget backs up this goal with a $10
million increase in funding for the expanded Drug-Free Communities
Support Program, along with providing $5 million for a new Parents
Drug Corps.
-- The Strategy proposes that tools such as student drug testing be
available in communities where parents and educators deem them
appropriate, and funds them with $8 million in fiscal year 2004.
-- Healing America's Drug Users: Despite our substantial drug
prevention efforts, some 16 million Americans still use drugs on a
monthly basis, and roughly six million meet the clinical criteria for
needing drug treatment. Yet the overwhelming majority of users in need
of drug treatment fail to recognize their need. Priority II of the
Strategy emphasizes the crucial need for family, friends, and people
with shared experiences to intercede with and support those fighting
to overcome substance abuse. Drug users also need the support of
institutions and the people who run them-employers, law enforcement
agencies, faith communities, and health care providers, among
others-to help them recognize their drug use and direct those who need
it into drug treatment.
-- Overall, for 2004, the Administration proposes $3.6 billion for
drug treatment, an increase of 8.2 percent over 2003.
-- The fiscal year 2004 request includes new funding of $200 million
($600 million over three years) for Recovery Now, a program to provide
drug treatment to individuals otherwise unable to obtain access to
services. People in need of treatment, no matter where they
are-emergency rooms, health clinics, the criminal justice system,
schools, or the faith community-will receive an evidence-based
assessment of their treatment need and will be issued vouchers for the
cost of providing that treatment.
-- Disrupting the Market: Priority III of the Strategy, Disrupting the
Market, seeks to capitalize on the engagement of producer and transit
countries like Colombia and Mexico in order to address the drug trade
as a business-one that faces numerous and often overlooked obstacles
that may be used as pressure points. The drug trade is not an
unstoppable force of nature but rather a profit-making enterprise
where costs and rewards exist in an equilibrium that can be disrupted.
Every action that makes the drug trade more costly and less profitable
is a step toward "breaking" the market. As the Strategy explains, drug
traffickers are in business to make money. We intend to deny them that
-- To help secure our borders, the President's budget includes $2.1
billion for drug interdiction, an increase of 7.3 percent from 2003.
Internationally, the Bush Administration will continue to target the
supply of illegal drugs in the source countries.
-- The Administration is requesting $731 million in dedicated funds in
2004 for the Andean Counterdrug Initiative to be applied in Bolivia,
Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
-- To ensure unity of effort, the Strategy advocates the use of a
single list identifying high-level targets (the Consolidated Priority
Organization Targeting list) among the various agencies involved in
domestic drug law enforcement.
Progress Toward Two- and Five-Year Goals: Only the first year of the
two-year goal period has elapsed, yet already the goal of reducing
current use by 10 percent among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, as
measured by the Monitoring the Future survey, is well on the way to
being met (with reductions of 11.1, 8.4, and 1.2 percent
respectively). Adjustments to the measuring baseline for the goals
have been prompted by discontinuities in the National Household Survey
on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). As a result, the goal of reducing drug use
among adults will still be measured by the NHSDA, but the baseline has
been reset to the 2002 survey, which is not released until mid-year
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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