Thursday, October 22, 2009

Federal support of prevention

Earlier this month, ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske addressed the International Association of Chiefs of Police. During his address, he emphasized the importance of comprehensive prevention programs. Among his remarks:

Our youth are the group most vulnerable, so our first order of business has to be doing whatever we can to prevent young people's initiation into drug use.

media campaign not only raises awareness of the drug problem, it helps reduce the demand for drugs. Research shows that teens exposed to the media campaign's messages, in addition to in-school prevention programs, are significantly less likely to smoke marijuana.

The importance of drug-prevention programs has long been recognized, and there is no shortage of prevention programs, on a small-scale.

A large body of research shows that if we could align and coordinate more of the individual, short-term prevention programs, we could create more powerful and effective "continuing prevention" systems . . . They should also bring to bear multiple sources of influence on adolescents, including parents, schools, police, faith communities, healthcare providers, peers, and other members of the community.

Uncoordinated prevention efforts are not the fault of those who provide prevention services . . . One of my priorities will be promoting blending funding streams among Federal agencies to encourage communities to prepare for and adopt comprehensive prevention programs . . .

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