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 Home > News & Policies > December 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 14, 2001

President Empowers Communities in the Fight Against Illegal Drug Abuse

Today's Presidential Action:

  • President Bush signed legislation that extends and expands the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, which supports community-based efforts nationwide to reduce the demand for illegal drugs. It's an important step forward in the President's agenda for reducing illegal drug use through effective education, prevention and treatment.

  • President Bush also called on the Senate to move forward with the Armies of Compassion legislation to support charitable organizations in America, including many faith- and community-based institutions that are making remarkable progress in preventing and treating drug abuse.

    About the Drug-Free Communities Support Program

  • The President believes in a balanced approach to drug policy that emphasizes not only efforts to reduce the supply of drugs coming into our country from overseas, but also reducing the demand for drugs here at home.

  • The Drug-Free Communities Support Program supports community anti-drug coalitions that harness local energy and resources to work together toward the common goal of reducing substance abuse. Coalitions include local partnerships between youth, parents, businesses, the media, schools, youth organizations, law enforcement, religious or fraternal organizations, civic groups, health care professionals, state, local or tribal governmental agencies, and other organizations.

  • Activities include parent drug education programs, youth summits where young people learn to resist drugs, local drug use surveys in middle and high schools, drug intervention counseling services, tutoring and financial incentives for businesses that adopt drug-free workplace programs. Coalitions empower individuals and communities at the local level to join national drug prevention efforts.

  • The President's Budget for FY02 provided more than $50 million for the Drug-Free Communities Support Program -- an increase of $10.6 million over FY01. The legislation signed by the President today authorizes annual increases that will meet the Presidential commitment to increase the size of the program to nearly $100 million by FY07.

  • The Drug-Free Communities Support Program was created in 1997. Since then, it has awarded 464 grants to coalitions in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Of these grants, approximately 35% were awarded to coalitions in urban areas, 17% in suburban communities, 39% in small towns or rural areas, and the remainder to other types of communities. The maximum award is $100,000 per fiscal year, with each grantee having to match federal dollars with non-federal funds or in-kind support.

  • The President's Budget strongly supports other key demand reduction initiatives, including:

    • Narrowing the treatment gap with a five-year commitment to increasing resources for treatment services by $1.6 billion, including targeted treatment programs for children and adolescents.

    • Increasing resources for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    • Securing $180 million for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to ensure that vital anti-drug public service advertisements continue to reach parents and children.

    • Strongly supporting Drug Courts and other criminal justice diversion programs to help more Americans break the vicious cycle of addiction and incarceration.

    For more information on the President's initiatives, please visit