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Statement Announcing an Expanded Federal Program To Combat Drug Abuse

March 11, 1970

IN RECENT MONTHS, there have been stories about two heroin addicts that starkly illustrated the ominous nature of the narcotics problem. Like many addicts, one of them not only used the drug, but sold it. Their stories were, in fact, different from those of other drug addicts in only one major aspect: each was only 12 years old.

One boy is now being treated for addiction at a clinic. The other died from an overdose of heroin.

Drug addiction among school-age youth is increasing at an alarming rate. Although funds for drug education and training have grown six-fold between fiscal 1969 and fiscal 1971, the situation calls for much greater effort. Today, I announce a greatly expanded Federal program to fight this growing problem.

The major points of the new effort are:

--a $3.5 million program operated by the Office of Education to train school personnel, particularly teachers, in the fundamentals of drug

abuse education;

--creation of a National Clearinghouse for Drug Abuse Information and Education, giving the public one central office to contact;

--publication of a book in which, for the first time, all of the concerned Federal departments and agencies have pooled their knowledge of the national drug problem;

--modification of a program of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration to allow large cities to apply for funds to be used for drug education, as well as for law enforcement programs;

--development by the Advertising Council of an expanded public service campaign on drug abuse in cooperation with the media and the Federal Government;

--close cooperation of the administration with concerned citizens' organizations.

Closely related to these projects is this administration's decision to more than double the amount of money that will be spent this fiscal year on research into the effects of marihuana on man.

One of the great tragedies of the past decade has been that our schools, where our children should learn about the wonder of life, have often been the places where they learn the livings--and sometimes actual--death of drug abuse. There is no priority higher in this administration than to see that children--and the public-learn the facts about drugs in the right way and for the right purpose through education.

Note: A drug abuse program fact sheet released by the White House on March 11, 1970, is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 6, p. 351).

On the same day the White House released the transcript of a news briefing on the expanded program by Charles B. Wilkinson, Special Consultant to the President; John E. Ingersoll, Director, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Department of Justice; and Dr. James E. Allen, Jr., Commissioner of Education, and Dr. Stanley F. Yolles, Director, National Institute of Mental Health, both of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Richard Nixon, Statement Announcing an Expanded Federal Program To Combat Drug Abuse Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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