Coalitions and Drug Demand Reduction - Pathway to a Better Tomorrow   [open pdf - 638KB]

General Barry McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, stated that our National Drag Strategy is basically a demand reduction based strategy. As part of The National Drug Control Strategy, 1998, be and President Clinton directed that 14,000 community coalitions be established around our country to assist with the fight against drugs. Accepting the importance of this mission and the huge task it is, then we as a people and community, must draw our own lines in the sand, that will basically refocus much of our counterdrug efforts to assist in the establishment and support to coalitions within our 54 states and territories. Much the same as a helicopter must transition from a hover state to a flight mode, in order to fly, our counterdrug efforts must refocus as we move into the 21st century, to emphasize more of a demand reduction role. Now is the time to collectively redirect a much higher percentage of resources and effort, to support our people, our communities, and our coalitions. Many of our governor's outlines in their state counterdrug plans that drug demand reduction, and specifically, coalition development is a high priority. However, a close review of actual budgets, support, and personnel allotted to coalitions, reveal that this is not the case. Part of this support is our resources within the National Guard, as well as our entire national effort. This paper will examine where we should go with our support to coalitions, what is perceived, and what is reality. Within this great country in order to support the environment for our children to grow into good parents and raise their children in a drug free environment, we must act with decisiveness and commitment. If our national effort is truly a demand reduction based policy, then we must be honest enough with ourselves to support our next generation.

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