[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[February 14, 1998]
[Pages 230-231]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

The President's Radio Address
February 14, 1998

    Good morning. Our most important task in the coming years is to 
strengthen America for the 21st century. Nothing weakens our families 
and the fabric of our Nation more than the use, abuse, and sale of 
    Today I want to talk about what we all must do to protect our 
children and keep our communities safe from drugs. I'm very pleased to 
be joined by the leader of our antidrug efforts, General Barry 
McCaffrey. Let's begin by recognizing 
that the fight against drugs must be waged and won at kitchen tables all 
across America. Even the world's most thorough antidrug strategy won't 
ever do the job unless all of us pass on the same clear and simple 
message to our children: Drugs are wrong; drugs are dangerous; and drugs 
can kill you. That is our most powerful antidrug strategy.
    We've had some very encouraging news in recent months. We're finding 
that more and more of our young people are saying no to drugs, and we 
can all take great pride in the fact that the number of Americans who 
use drugs has fallen by one-half since 1979. But that number is still 
too large. That's why I'm proposing a new 10-year plan to meet one 
unambiguous goal: We can and must cut drug use in America by another 50 
percent. This plan

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builds on our strategy of tougher punishment, better prevention, and 
more partnerships to shut down the international drug trade. It proves 
that we can balance the budget and win our fight against drugs.
    First, we must keep our children from ever trying drugs in the first 
place. We'll send prevention educators to 6,500 schools nationwide. Our 
national youth antidrug media campaign will ensure that every time our 
children turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or surf the Internet 
they'll get the powerful message that drugs destroy lives. Because most 
young people get in trouble after school and before their parents get 
home, we'll expand after-school programs dramatically to help keep our 
children off the streets, away from drugs, and out of trouble.
    Second, we'll hire 1,000 more Border Patrol agents, work closely 
with neighboring countries, and use the latest technologies to keep more 
drugs from coming into America in the first place.
    Third, we will strengthen law enforcement by finishing the job of 
putting 100,000 more community police on our streets, hiring 100 more 
DEA agents to crack down on methamphetamines, and launching a new effort 
against heroin.
    And finally, we will stop the revolving door between drugs and crime 
by expanding testing and treatment of prisoners and parolees. Our 
prisons simply must not be allowed to become finishing schools for a 
life of crime.
    A study released by the Justice Department today confirms that our 
policy of testing and treatment is working. It shows that Federal 
inmates who received drug treatment were 73 percent less likely to be 
re-arrested and 44 percent less likely to test positive for drugs in the 
first 6 months after their release than those who did not receive 
treatment. Not too long ago, there were some who said our fight against 
drugs and crime was hopelessly lost. Well, crime has fallen every year 
for the last 5 years, and now the tide is turning against drugs.
    With this comprehensive strategy, I am confident that we can build a 
stronger drug-free America for the 21st century.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 5:20 p.m. on February 13 at the 
Wyndham Hotel in Philadelphia, PA, for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on 
February 14.