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Letter to Representative Peter A. Peyser Supporting Legislation To Prevent Heroin Maintenance Programs.

August 20, 1972

Dear Pete:

I was greatly heartened to learn of the measure you just introduced in the House to prevent the implementation of heroin maintenance programs in the United States. Your bill reflects the very significant study and service you are giving the nation in our fight against drug abuse.

The concept of heroin maintenance represents a concession to weakness and defeat in the drug abuse struggle, a concession which would surely lead to the erosion of our most cherished values for the dignity of man. Heroin maintenance would condemn an undetermined number of our citizens, desperately in need of help, to a lifetime of degradation and addiction at the very time when other, more positive methods of treatment and rehabilitation are rapidly becoming available throughout the country.

As we know, the Federal Government has initiated a series of bold programs to combat drug abuse, designed to help bring about a lasting solution to the drug problem in America. Our vastly expanded enforcement and diplomatic efforts are beginning to take effect. Federal resources are being focused on the expansion and improvement of established systems to meet the growing demands for voluntary treatment, and significant research is now underway to develop non-addictive drugs for such treatment. Heroin maintenance would not only undermine these substantial programs but, perhaps even more importantly, would not offer any prospect for a lasting solution to the addiction problem.

The bill you have introduced to prevent implementation of heroin maintenance programs has my full support. I hope that you, as Chairman of the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee Against Heroin Maintenance, will take all possible steps to ensure its prompt enactment by the Congress and that you will keep me apprised of what actions we might jointly take to expedite consideration and passage of this vital legislation.

As I have often stated, drug abuse-especially the terrible scourge of heroin addiction--is this nation's Public Enemy Number One. We have a solemn obligation to ourselves and to our children to rid drug addiction from America, and I am confident that with measures such as you have proposed, we will be victorious in this all-important battle.

With every good wish,



[Honorable Peter A. Peyser, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515]

Note: The letter, dated August 18, 1972, was made available to the press August 20.

Representative Peyser's bill was introduced as H.R. 16458.

Richard Nixon, Letter to Representative Peter A. Peyser Supporting Legislation To Prevent Heroin Maintenance Programs. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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