A Productive Year for the Office of National Drug Control Policy

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 31, 1998 | Go to article overview

A Productive Year for the Office of National Drug Control Policy


Your Dec. 26 editorial "Not much of a turning drug tide" identified a severe problem with youth drug use in America but failed to cite what has been accomplished in setting the country on the right path toward reduced drug abuse. The piece would have the reader believe that decreasing drug use and its consequences is some sort of political, ideological struggle with one party or the other having the superior solution. Actually, the problem of drug abuse in America requires bipartisan cooperation and joint effort among government agencies, the media and the public. This is similar to the fact that with troubled children, bickering parents are less effective than a unified front.

We have had a number of successes in handling what admittedly is a serious problem. The Clinton administration has requested a budget increase in 1999, compared to fiscal 1994 expenditures, of 30 percent for treatment, 37 percent for prevention and a total of 33 percent for demand reduction. In addition, funding for the Drug-Free Communities program increased from $10 million in fiscal 1998 to $20 million appropriated in fiscal 1999.

We have received an encouraging show of bipartisan support from many senators and members of Congress who realize that this issue is too important to be hijacked for divisive political purposes. Specifically, Sens. Joseph R. Biden and Orrin G. Hatch helped write the reauthorization of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Reps. Charles B. Rangel and Thomas M. Barrett were crucial supporters of the Anti-Drug Youth Media Campaign, Office of National Drug Control Policy reauthorization and the Emergency Supplemental Act; Reps. Rob Portman and Dennis Hastert in particular helped put together the Drug-Free Communities program and the media campaign; and Rep. Jim Kolbe was a key leader behind funding support for the media campaign and Emergency Supplemental Act. Rep. Sander M. Levin helped with the Drug-Free Communities program, youth media campaign, appropriation issues and reauthorization. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings served on our oversight subcommittee and supported the media campaign, drug-free schools and reauthorization. Reauthorization is particularly important in that it affirms the national drug control strategy as the blueprint for future action. …

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A Productive Year for the Office of National Drug Control Policy
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