Pubdate: Mon, 15 Jan 2001
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2001 The Sun-Times Co.
Contact:  401 N. Wabash, Chicago IL 60611
Author: Robert S. Weiner, chief of press relations, Office of 
National Drug Control Policy


The Sun-Times article ["The failed war on drugs," Part 1 of a 
six-part series, Jan. 7] criticizing Office of National Drug Control 
Policy Director Barry McCaffrey and national drug policy omitted the 
record of real results. In the past two years, 12- to 17-year-olds' 
drug use fell 21 percent (according to the respected Household 
Survey), and 34 percent in the past three years (according to the 
Pride Survey of 100,000 youths). The number of drug-related murders 
dropped to the lowest point in more than a decade, and workplace drug 
use has fallen to an 11-year low.

Our source-zone 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 overall.

In addition, McCaffrey made prevention a priority. The youth 
anti-drug media campaign is having a positive impact: It reaches 95 
percent of parents and teens more than seven times per week.

We shifted the handling of drug criminals away from just "tough on 
crime" to breaking the cycle of drugs and crime, in view of the 
government's finding that 62 percent of arrestees have 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, curtailing crime and helping abusers restore 
their lives) has grown from a dozen in 1994 to 700 now. 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 present.

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

Robert S. Weiner, chief of press relations, Office of National Drug 
Control Policy
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