The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 1, 2004

Message to the Congress of the United States

I am transmitting the 2004 National Drug Control Strategy, consistent with the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 (21 U.S.C. 1705).

Two years ago, my Administration issued its National Drug Control Strategy setting forth a balanced approach to reducing drug use among teenagers and adults. The Strategy set ambitious two- and five-year performance-based goals: (i) to lower the rate of drug use by 10 percent over two years; and (ii) to lower the rate by 25 percent over five years. The success of the Strategy can be measured by its results.

I am pleased to report that we have exceeded our two-year goal of reducing drug use among young people. The most recent survey shows an 11 percent drop between 2001 and 2003 in the use of illicit drugs by teenagers. Among teens, some drugs - such as LSD -- have dropped to record low levels of use. For others, we are seeing the lowest levels of use in almost a decade.

Despite this good news, drug addiction continues to challenge far too many Americans. Addiction to drugs destroys ties of trust, family, and friendship, and reduces all the richness of life to a single destructive desire. Almost every American has known someone who has followed the self-destructive path of addiction. Too many Americans want to change a family member's behavior, but are afraid of causing division and, perhaps, estrangement.

Our Strategy proposes a remarkable and unprecedented array of drug control programs, treatment initiatives, and media campaign efforts. But more than any program, it seeks to engage the desire of all Americans to make this a better Nation, facing down the lie of addiction, and offering the hope of recovery.

My Administration will continue to place a high priority on reducing drug addition in America. I ask for your continued support in this critical endeavor.

March 1, 2004.

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