Anti-drug spending: Where should the money go?
Federal budget keeps more funds in law enforcement
February 25, 1997
From Correspondent Anthony Collings
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton announced a new anti-drug strategy that increases the government's emphasis on preventing drug use among young people. Recovering addict Lawrence Jordan hopes the strategy works. Now in his 40s, Jordan, like many, started early in life.
"I finally became addicted to drugs at the age of 17," he said. "There was an initial time when I used drugs, but that's when I realized that I was addicted."
The administration is asking Congress for $16 billion to fight drugs, up 5 percent from last year. The only major new program is $175 million for anti-drug public service ads aimed at young people.
Overall, the proportion of the federal government's anti-drug budget set aside for law enforcement is 66 percent, down 1 percent from last year. Prevention and treatment would be 34 percent, a 1 percent increase.
The president's strategy notes that drug use is down overall, but going up among young people. Among 12- to 17-year-olds, marijuana use jumped 37 percent in 1995, the government says.
"The number of young people using drugs is increasing while drug usage in America is generally going down," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "It's important that we focus on our young people."
People like Jordan, who know what it's like to be a drug addict, hope the government can make a difference.
"They need to get the message all across the board ... not deal with treatment one minute and prevention the next time," Jordan said.
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