THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Helping Communities to Keep Kids Drug-Free September 12, 1998
In his weekly radio address to the nation, President Clinton today announced new federal assistance to enhance grassroots efforts in 93 communities in 46 states to prevent youth drug abuse. Under the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, the Administration will release over $8.7 million to fund the work of broad-based community coalitions to target young people's use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
Supporting Local Efforts to Combat Youth Drug Use
Bolstering the number of community anti-drug coalitions. The Drug-Free Communities Support Program was created under the Drug-Free Communities Act, which President Clinton signed into law on June 27, 1997. The Act seeks to expand the number of community anti-drug coalitions -- made up of young people, parents, media, law enforcement, religious and other civic organizations, and school officials -- from the 4,000 today to 14,000 over the next five years. To this end, the Act authorizes $10 million in FY 98, and steadily increases funds to over $43 million in FY 2002. A catalyst for increased citizen participation. Today's grants will provide 93 community anti-drug coalitions with much needed funds to build and strengthen their community-wide partnerships to combat drugs. The Drug-Free Communities Support Program, administered through the Justice Department and White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), provides federal matching grants of up to $100,000 to such coalitions. Harnessing the commitment of citizen volunteers. Among the participating coalitions are: San Antonio Fights Back, which will use its funds to expand mentoring, enhance community policing and after school programs, and establish early identification and treatment referral for drug-abusing youth; and the PIMA Prevention Partnership in Tucson, AZ, which will expand its Teen Courts in Schools and continue its parent education efforts to work with parents to teach accountability skills. Linking our national message to local action. In July, President Clinton launched the national expansion of the Anti-Drug Media Campaign he first proposed in last year's drug strategy and budget. The President's 5-year, $2 billion campaign is designed to let teens know -- when they turn on the television, listen to the radio, or surf the "Net -- that drugs are dangerous, wrong and can kill you. The grants being awarded today will help communities to reinforce this message by joining together and acting at the local level.
A Record of Accomplishment
President Clinton consistently has proposed the largest, most ambitious anti-drug budgets ever -- and has proposed more than $17 billion for FY 1999. His 1998 National Drug Control Strategy is a comprehensive ten-year plan designed to cut drug use and availability in half. Among other initiatives, the Strategy continues the anti-drug media campaign, improves and expands the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, shields our borders with 1,000 new Border Patrol officers and advanced drug detection technologies, strengthens law enforcement with new DEA agents to crack down on heroin and methamphetamine traffickers, and cuts crime by testing and treating crime-committing addicts.