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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 26, 2006
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
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.
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