print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > February 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 1, 2007

seek help.

In 2002, I set a goal to reduce illegal drug use by 10 percent

over two years, and by 25 percent over five years. This Monday, we

will release the annual National Drug Control Strategy, which shows

the impressive progress we have made. Youth drug use declined 11

percent between 2001 and 2003, meaning 400,000 fewer young people used

drugs. These results exceeded our goal, and proved that our hard work

is paying off.

This year, we will expand our strategy so that we can make even

greater progress in the fight against drugs. The best way to cut drug

use is to cut demand for drugs at the ground level. So my budget

includes a $10-million increase for drug-free communities, a

common-sense prevention program that supports local coalitions working

to stop young people from using drugs.

Research shows that teenagers who abstain from drugs are

unlikely to start using them later in life. So I have asked Congress

to provide an additional $23 million for high schools who want to

develop and carry out drug testing programs. Random drug testing

gives students a strong answer to the social pressure to try drugs.

It helps schools identify those using drugs so they can intervene with

counseling and treatment before experiments turn into addictions.

We've seen the positive results of drug testing across the

country. Just two years after Hunterdon Central Regional High School

in New Jersey began its testing program, drug use had declined

significantly throughout the school. Hunterdon's principal described

the program's effect this way: "We have never seen a prevention

curriculum that affected the numbers this substantially. We finally

had a tool that was making a large difference."

As we reduce demand for drugs, we're also preventing drug

supplies from entering our country. Our military and law enforcement

personnel are targeting the world's most dangerous drug trafficking

networks. We are dismantling these organizations and putting their

leaders in jail. And by working with governments across our

hemisphere, we are drying up the world's supply of illegal drugs at

its source.

Finally, we are taking steps to help those who have fallen into

the destructive cycle of addiction. Drug dependence undermines

productivity, as well as moral conviction and devastates millions of

families each year.

Some addicts recognize their problem and want to change, but

cannot afford access to professional care. To help men and women like

these, I launched an initiative called Access to Recovery. This

program will help thousands of Americans get the treatment they need.

And because I know a good way to change a person's behavior is to

change their heart, faith-based treatment programs will always be an

option. Congress has provided $100 million for this life-saving

program. And this year, I have asked to double that amount.

The progress reported in this year's Drug Control Strategy is

encouraging. Our goals are ambitious, and we have seen they can be

achieved. Now we will build on the improvement of the past two years.

And we will continue working toward a society in which all citizens

can lead a life of independence and purpose, free from the devastating

influence of drugs.

Thank you for listening.