THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 4, 2001
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
The 2001 Annual Report on our National Drug Control Strategy issued
today by National Drug Policy Director Barry McCaffrey shows that America
is making real progress in the fight against illegal drugs, but that we
must never give up on making our children?s futures safe and drug-free.
The most recent National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that drug use
by youths aged twelve to seventeen has declined 21 percent since 1997.
Adolescents increasingly disapprove of illegal drugs, and a growing number
are using positive peer pressure to help friends stay away from drugs. We
have made similar progress combating illegal drug organizations that
traffic in these poisons. Additionally, drug-related murders are down to
their lowest level in over a decade.
Despite our progress, drugs continue to exact a tremendous toll on our
nation. Studies report an increase in the use of steroids and club drugs
such as ecstasy by youths, and too many young people are still using
alcohol, tobacco, and illegal substances. In addition, one in four inmates
in state prisons and more than 60 percent of federal inmates are drug
offenders. We need to continue to build on successful initiatives like our
Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign so our children can make smart decisions and
stay away from drugs. We must also make investments to improve
after-school opportunities so our children are supervised during the hours
when they are most vulnerable to drugs and crime. In addition, we have a
responsibility to reduce the treatment gap as well as help close the
revolving prison door of drug offenders by expanding drug courts and drug
testing and treatment programs, which have been shown to cut recidivism by
as much as 44 percent.
I urge the 107th Congress to continue working together in the
bipartisan spirit of my Administration so that we may tackle these
important challenges and eliminate the devastating impact of drugs on our