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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release February 8, 1999


February 8, 1999

Today Vice President Gore will release the 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, a comprehensive long-term plan to reduce drug use and availability to historic new lows. The Strategy is backed by a $17.8 billion counter-drug budget--the largest ever presented to Congress. The Vice President will also highlight the extraordinary efforts of the private sector to join forces with the successful Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to get the right message on drugs to kids, parents, and teachers.

A long term commitment to fight drugs. Year in and year out, the Clinton-Gore Administration has proposed the largest anti-drug budgets ever, helping to increase federal counter-drug spending by nearly 40% between FY 93 and FY 99. Our sustained effort is having an impact: overall drug use is half the level it was at its peak in the 1970's; drug-related murders are down by 40 percent since 1992; the first-ever paid anti-drug media campaign has been launched nationwide; and youth drug use is on the decline for the second year in a row. The 1999 National Drug Control Strategy builds on this progress and takes the next steps to reduce drug use and availability across the board.

Keeping kids the number one priority. If our children can make it to adulthood free of substance abuse, the vast majority will avoid addiction for the rest of their lives. That is why the first goal of the Strategy is to educate and enable kids to reject drugs. And while recent studies show declining youth drug use in 1997 and 1998, we have more work to do. The Clinton-Gore Strategy and FY 2000 budget reflect a strong commitment to meeting this challenge:

     $195 Million for National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.  The
     President's budget continues this unprecedented, 5-year campaign
     to use the full power of the mass media to educate millions of
     young people, parents, teachers and mentors about the dangers of
     drugs.  In just six months, the private sector has joined our
     national effort and made over $165 million in matching
     contributions--helping us to reach even more people by creating
     their own anti-drug ads, producing shows about drug prevention, and
     giving scores of non-profit organizations free air time to run
     their drug-related messages.

     $590 Million for Safe and  Drug-Free Schools.  In addition to
     calling for increased funds, the President is committed to
     reforming the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program to make it even
     more effective.  The President's proposal will require schools to
     adopt rigorous, comprehensive school safety plans that include
     tough, but fair discipline policies; safe  passage to and from
     schools; effective drug and violence policies and programs; annual
     school safety and drug use report cards; and links to after school

Breaking the iron link between drugs and crime. A third of state prisoners and one in five federal prisoners commit their crimes under the influence of drugs. Nearly 20 percent of state prisoners and 15 percent of federal inmates commit their crimes to buy drugs. The President's budget provides new resources for states and localities to break crime-committing addicts of their addictions and reduce recidivism:

     $215 Million for Zero Tolerance Drug Supervision.  The President
     proposes the most comprehensive drug supervision ever to help keep
     offenders drug-and crime-free: $100 million in new funds to help
     states and localities to drug test, treat, and sanction prisoners,
     parolees and probationers; $50 million to expand innovative drug
     courts; and $65 million for residential drug treatment for
     prisoners with the most serious drug problems.

Strengthening law enforcement. One of the Strategy's goals is to increase the safety of America's citizens by substantially reducing drug-related crime and violence. To help keep crime coming down to record low levels, the President's budget includes:

$1.275 Billion for a 21st Century Policing Initiative, to help communities hire, redeploy and retain up to 50,000 law enforcement officers with an effort to target crime and drug "hot spots"; to equip officers with the latest crime-fighting technologies; and to engage entire communities to work together to prevent and fight crime.

$22 Million Increase for DEA Drug Intelligence, including $13 million to assist the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with its efforts to automate and improve access to critical law enforcement and intelligence information, and $9 million to support investigations to dismantle drug trafficking organizations.

Closing the treatment gap. Dependence on drugs exacts an enormous toll in individuals, their families, businesses, communities, and the nation. Treatment can help end dependence on addictive drugs--and its destructive consequences. To help make treatment available to more Americans in need, the President's budget provides:

$85 Million to Increase Drug Treatment. The President's budget provides an additional $55 million in Targeted Capacity Grants to expand the availability of drug treatment to meet existing or emerging needs, and $30 million more for the Substance Abuse Block Grant--the backbone of federal efforts to help states and localities reduce the gap between those seeking treatment and the capacity of the public treatment system.

Stopping drugs at the border and breaking foreign sources of supply. The Strategy will help shield our borders and strengthen multinational cooperation on drugs by including:

$50 Million Increase for the Southwest Border. The President's budget includes additional funds for INS to deploy "force multiplying" technology, such as infrared and color cameras and ground sensors to aid Border Patrol enforcement and drug interdiction efforts.

$29 Million More for International Programs to fund the State Department's International Narcotics Law Enforcement Affairs' efforts in the Andean countries, and Mexico, and to provide assistance to enhance multinational cooperation in our anti-drug efforts.