As Delivered Remarks of Administrator Karen P. Tandy
National Press Club, Washington, D.C. December 19, 2005
Today is another great day for America’s kids. It is a really bad day for the drug traffickers preying on them, and a particularly bad day for those who falsely claim we are losing the war on drugs.
DEA is doing its part—and we will do more—to prevent illicit drugs from ever reaching our teens.
Without DEA enforcement operations to reduce the supply of cheap, plentiful drugs…..prevention won’t take root and treatment cannot succeed.
A key piece of DEA’s operations is to increase the risks to traffickers and their costs of doing business. To that end – over the past year, DEA operations led to the record breaking seizure of $1.9 billion in illicit drug assets – dramatically up from the less than $ ½ billion seized just 2 years ago.
DEA also has ramped up operations against methamphetamine traffickers here and abroad and those who cook it. And it is having an impact as revealed by this survey: with young people’s use of meth plummeting by 1/3 since 2001. DEA is closing off meth traffickers’ access to needed chemicals and shutting down their labs -- arresting 5,800 meth cooks and traffickers last year.
To prevent teens from even trying meth and other drugs, DEA launched a new teen website in late summer called “Justthinktwice.com.” Visited by nearly 1 million people already, this cutting-edge website is devoted to and designed by teenagers, and gives young people the hard facts about meth and other drugs.
Today is a new landmark in steroids – with teen use of steroids slashed by 1/3 from 4 years ago. This is particularly welcome news because of the mixed messages our young people sometimes get about steroids: from professional athletes testing positive for steroid use…..to teens’ own parents encouraging steroid use to improve their chances of landing athletic scholarships.
We remain troubled by teens’ growing prescription drug abuse: Drug dealers who used to sell these drugs in back alleys now appear in your child’s bedroom through the Internet.
Consequently, DEA launched unprecedented operations over the past year against traffickers who are using the world wide web as a worldwide drug market:
This year’s survey demonstrates that although we may have some challenges, America is winning the battle against drugs.
DEA is proud to do our part to give America and its next generation the chance to succeed.