IV. A Common Effort toward Real Progress

The 1998 Strategy provides this nation with a ten-year plan to reduce drug use and its consequences in America by half -- to the lowest levels in the past thirty years. The Strategy is: backed by a $17 billion budget, the largest counter-drug budget ever presented, to ensure that the federal government can do its part in meeting this goal, and accompanied by a set of well-defined performance measures to improve efficacy and ensure accountability. The Strategy is a plan for victory in the fight against drugs.

However, we can only defeat drugs if we are united in our efforts. The bipartisan support this Committee and Congress has provided to ONDCP has been vital to our recent successes in reducing overall drug use, stabilizing use among our young people, and building at home and abroad the institutions and advancing the policies needed for progress. Your continued support as we move ahead in implementing this Strategy is critical. By uniting our efforts behind this Strategy we can forge a safer, healthier and more productive nation. America deserves no less.

Thank you for this opportunity to lay out our 1998 National Drug Control Strategy, the Budget Summary for the five-year counter-drug effort, and the Performance Measures of Effectiveness for our ten-year and five-year objectives. We solicit your feedback and guidance in the coming months.

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