USIS Washington 

03 February 1999


($17,800 million contains $735 million increase)  (790)
By Bruce Carey
USIA Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- President Clinton has asked Congress for $17,800 million
to deal with the illicit drug menace during the fiscal year that
begins October 1.

The request would increase anti-drug spending by $735 million over the
current fiscal year, says a February 1 press release from the White
House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Programs fall into two broad categories -- demand reduction and supply
reduction. Additional resources for demand reduction are managed
mostly by the Department of Health and Human Services. They include
programs to increase the availability of drug treatment, to provide
basic research on drug use, and to continue prevention efforts aimed
at school children.

Supply reduction programs conducted largely by the Departments of
Justice, Treasury, Transportation, State, and Defense include support
for security along the southwest U.S. border, aid for eradication and
interdiction efforts, especially in the Andean region, Mexico, and the
Caribbean, and continued enforcement targeting both smuggled and
domestic illegal drugs.

Following is a synopsis of the program areas slated to receive major
funding increases:


Youth Prevention

-- School Coordinators. This program began recently and would receive
an increase from $35 million to $50 million. It hires drug prevention
coordinators in nearly half the middle schools across the country to
help improve the quality and effectiveness of drug prevention

-- National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. ONDCP operates this
program to spread the word among U.S. youth that drugs are a deadly
menace. The high-impact media messages are designed to change naive
adolescent perceptions of the danger of social approval of drugs.
Funding would rise from $185 million this year to $195 million next

Criminal Justice Programs

-- Drug Intervention. The Justice Department administers this new
program to assist state and local government drug testing and drug
treatment of users. The budget provides for $100 million for this
initial effort.

-- Drug Courts. This highly successful program provides alternatives
to imprisonment using the coercive power of the state courts to steer
individual drug users away from illegal substances. Judges can tap
into the government funds, which the budget proposes to raise from $40
million this year to $50 million next year, to give drug offenders who
are not major suppliers access to special help. Offenders are given
the chance to change their behavior through a combination of
escalating sanctions, mandatory drug testing, and strong aftercare


-- Substance Abuse Block Grants. The Department of Health and human
Services grants blocks of money to states for treatment and prevention
services, and is the backbone of federal efforts to reduce the gap
between those seeking treatment and the limited capacity of the
treatment system. The new budget would fund the program at an
additional $30 million, bringing the total under the new budget to
$1,615 million.

Treatment Capacity Expansion Grants. This program would double the
Department of Health and Human Services' current grant of $55 million
to $110 million for next year. The initiative targets areas of the
country where the need for drug treatment is emerging and to fund
treatment for the first time in those areas.


All supply reduction programs are carried out through domestic and
international law enforcement activities, sometimes supported by the

-- Southwest Border. The administration is asking for an increase from
$416.8 million this year to $450.8 million for next year for the
Border Patrol. Part of the increase would be for deployment of
infrared and color cameras with ground sensors in the effort to stop
drugs from smuggling across the Mexico-U.S. border.

-- International Programs. The State Department would receive an
additional $29 million to support international organizations that
fight illegal drug traffic, rising from $236 million this year to $265
next year.

-- Drug Intelligence. The Drug Enforcement Administration would
receive an additional $66 million, rising from $1,299 million this
year to $1,365 million next year, partly to complete the new automated
electronic investigative records system. Once this highly
sophisticated enforcement tool is deployed, DEA will be able to act as
one unit worldwide to provide instantaneous access to critical law
enforcement and intelligence information.

-- Forward Operating Locations. This is essentially a new program to
compensate for the expected closing of Howard Air Force Base in
Panama, which deploys aircraft to assist law enforcement agencies
locate air and sea shipments of illegal drugs. When Howard closes, the
extra $73.5 million requested for the Defense Department's anti-drug
activities would give the Southern Command three FOLs to continue
supporting this effort.