The Public Interest

The failure of drug education

D. M. Gorman

Fall 1997

THE role of the federal government in preventing adolescent drug use was a central issue of the 1996 presidential campaign. Bob Dole criticized the Clinton administration for slashing the staff of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) while Clinton criticized attempts by the Republican majority in Congress to cut federal support of drug-prevention programs—the most dramatic being a proposal to rescind the entire $482 million prevention budget of the Department of Education. It seemed as though everyone, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, wanted to be seen as favoring federal spending on drug prevention and, in particular, drug education.

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