Oregon Partnership Praises Prevention Emphasis in White House Drug Control Strategy

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM OREGON PARTNERSHIP***

Contact:  Pete Schulberg

503-244-5211

OREGON PARTNERSHIP PRAISES PREVENTION EMPHASIS IN WHITE HOUSE DRUG CONTROL STRATEGY

(Portland, Or)  Oregon Partnership President/CEO Judy Cushing, on hand in Washington, D.C. for the announcement of the new National Drug Control Policy, has praised the focus on prevention to reduce drug use in the United States.

“This balanced approach includes a genuine emphasis on drug prevention and treatment along with enforcement,” said Cushing after meeting late Tuesday with Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy and other members of the White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy.

The strategy emphasizes the development of community-based prevention programs focused on young people, early intervention opportunities by health care providers, and helping communities implement evidence-based prevention initiatives.

For more on the National Drug Control Policy, click here: http://ofsubstance.gov/blogs/pushing_back/archive/2010/05/10/51127.aspx

“We commend Mr Kerlikowske for taking many months to hold listening sessions with a variety of groups, including Oregon Partnership,” said Cushing.  “Input from these groups is evident in elements of the strategy.”

This past January,  Kerlikowske visited Oregon Partnership’s headquarters to meet with Cushing and OP staff and toured OP’s Crisis Lines Center.  He also met with members of CARSA (Community Action to Reduce Substance Abuse) among other prevention and treatment organizations.

The strategy is the first plan by the Obama White House to reduce the country’s rate of drug abuse. It calls for reducing the rate of youth drug use by 15 percent over the next five years and similar reductions in chronic drug use, drug abuse deaths and drugged driving.

Cushing applauded the new focus on “drugged driving,” saying most Americans are not aware of the extent to which drugged driving is a serious problem.  “Teens and adults under the influence of drugs should not get behind the wheel – too much is at stake.”

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