WASHINGTON - President Bush defended his budget proposals to help more communities and faith-based groups to run drug prevention and treatment programs for low-income families and to increase drug testing in schools, today, Feb 28. The administration will release its National Drug Control Strategy report Monday.
Bush didn’t address any new initiatives, instead, he reported on the success of anti-drug war and described anti-drug proposals contained in the spending request he sent to Congress in February.
The anti-drug proposal requested increasing funding to $23 million from the current $2 million for schools to expand early intervention programs through drug testing despite criticisms from some parents and school officialsand $200 million the funding for the government's "Access to Recovery" program that helps addicts afford professional care and adding $10 million for local coalitions working on prevention efforts.
Bush said drug testing has resulted in declines in drug use. "Random drug testing gives students a strong answer to the social pressure to try drugs," he said. "It helps schools identify those using drugs so they can intervene with counseling and treatment before experiments turn into addictions."
Bush also said there would be increased involvement of religious charities calling it a good way to change the hearts of people.
"Because I know a good way to change a person's behavior is to change their heart, faith-based treatment programs will always be an option," he said.
Under President Bush, much progress has been made in decreasing drug use among high school student. According to the last year’s annual Department of Health and Human Services survey of high school students that Bush cited, there was an 11 percent drop in illegal drug use over the previous two years, slightly passing Bush’s goal of a 10 percent reduction.
"We have pursued an ambitious, focused strategy to cut demand for drugs at home, interdict supplies of drugs abroad, and treat more addicts who seek help," Bush said. "Our hard work is paying off. This year, we will expand our strategy so that we can make even greater progress in the fight against drugs."