Pubdate: Tue, 11 May 2004
Source: Peoria Journal Star (IL)
Copyright: 2004sPeoria Journal Star
Author: Dayna R. Brown, of The Journal Star
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Students - United States)


Barthwell Promoting Program To Provide Funding For Treatment

PEORIA -- The Bush administration is seeking a balance between helping and 
punishing drug abusers.

The president has devoted additional money to identifying and treating 
those addicted to drugs, said Andrea Barthwell, the deputy director of 
National Drug Control Policy for Demand Reduction, or the nation's deputy 
drug czar.

"The president has said 'A nation that is hard on drugs must be 
compassionate to drug users,"'Barthwell said while meeting with the Journal 
Star editorial board Monday.

About 45 percent of the $12 billion federal anti-drug budget is for 
treatment and prevention. That is up from past years, when as little as 17 
percent went toward helping abusers, Barthwell said. The remaining 55 
percent goes toward international prevention and law enforcement.

Although this is more than has been spent in the past, it isn't enough, 
Barthwell said.

"Some treatment is better than none, and more is better than less," 
Barthwell said. "The best thing that can happen is that we treat people 

That is why Barthwell and the Bush administration support drug testing for 
students involved in competitive extracurricular activities. She isn't 
looking to punish students who test positive but hopes it will deter use 
and provide early intervention for those in need.

And with 50 percent of students admitting they have tried drugs by the time 
they graduate, Barthwell said it is obvious more effort is needed.

There are approximately 16 million current drug users, Barthwell said. 
About 10 million are considered non-dependent. The other 6 million have a 
problem of abuse or dependency, Barthwell said.

"It's a problem we can solve. The idea of education and prevention and 
reaching out to young people and their families so we can make a 
difference," said U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, who appeared at a news 
conference with Barthwell on Monday morning.

There are three pillars to the Bush administration's drug intervention 
efforts: stopping drug use before it starts; healing drug users; and 
stopping the market for drugs.

Barthwell was in Peoria to promote "Access to Recovery," a three-year, $600 
million initiative to expand access to drug treatment across the nation.

She spent the morning at White Oaks Treatment Center learning about the 
program there. A medical doctor by trade, this wasn't Barthwell's first 
trip to Peoria. A longtime Chicago resident, Barthwell previously made 
three trips to Peoria to talk with the staff at White Oaks.

"Prevention is important, and treatment is important, and that is the way 
we really stamp out drug abuse," LaHood said.

Access to Recovery, funded at $100 million this year, will create a system 
that will provide people seeking drug and alcohol treatment with vouchers 
to pay for a range of appropriate community-based services, such as 
transportation, housing and job training.

States have until June 4 to apply for some of the funds, and Gov. Rod 
Blagojevich submitted an intent to apply, Barthwell said.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jackl