Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jan 2001
Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)
Copyright: 2001 Denver Publishing Co.
Contact:  400 W. Colfax, Denver, CO 80204
Author: Robert S. Weiner
Bookmark: (McCaffrey, Barry)


Jan. 4 article criticizing Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of 
National Drug Control Policy, and national drug policy, omitted the record 
of real results as laid out in the National Drug Strategy Report cited in 
the article. Over the past two years, drug use among 12- to 17-year-olds 
fell 21 percent (according to the respected Household Survey) and 34 
percent over the past three years (according to the Pride Survey of more 
than 100,000 youths).

In addition, the number of drug-related murders dropped to the lowest point 
in over a decade, and workplace drug use has fallen to an 11-year low. Our 
efforts cut coca cultivation in Peru by 66 percent and Bolivia by 55 
percent since 1995, and Andean coca cultivation is down nearly 20 percent 

Director McCaffrey made prevention a top priority. The $1 billion, 
five-year youth anti-drug media campaign is having a positive impact: It 
reaches 95 percent of parents and teens over seven times per week.

We shifted the way the criminal justice system handles drug criminals away 
from being just "tough on crime" to breaking the cycle of drugs and crime 
following the government's finding that 62 percent of arrestees tested 
positive for drugs. Funding for drug treatment has expanded by 34 percent 
since 1994. The number of drug courts (which offer court-supervised drug 
treatment programs that curtail crime and help abusers restore their lives) 
has grown from a dozen in 1994 to 700 today. The number of federal inmates 
receiving substance-abuse treatment, thereby stopping an otherwise 
predictable return to crime and drugs, increased tenfold from 1993 to the 

These dramatic improvements are the direct result of the balanced and 
effective approach that Barry McCaffrey helped engineer.

Robert S. Weiner, Chief of Press Relations, Office of National Drug Control 
Policy, Washington, D.C.
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