The DEA Demand Reduction Program
|The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is actively involved in drug
prevention and education efforts designed to reduce the demand for drugs in this country.
These efforts are coordinated through DEAs Demand Reduction Program, which was
formally created in 1986. The Program was created in response to the realization that in
order to mount a comprehensive attack against the drug problem, efforts must be undertaken
to reduce the demand for drugs and to prevent drug abuse before it occurs. To that end,
the mission of DEAs Demand Reduction Program is to provide leadership in
coordinating and facilitating the involvement of law enforcement and the community in drug
prevention and education activities.
||As you read on, you will see that much of the DEA's "demand
reduction" program has nothing to do with demand reduction at all. Instead, it
is intended to promote their own political agenda and to feather their own nest.
|DEAs Demand Reduction Program is operated by DEA Special Agents, who
are known as Demand Reduction Coordinators (DRCs), located in each of the agencys 22
field divisions. The DRCs role is to provide leadership and support to local
agencies and organizations as they develop drug education and prevention programs designed
to meet their specific needs. As Special Agents, the DRCs bring a unique perspective to
the drug prevention arena. They have a clear understanding of the overall drug situation,
and a broad range of experience in working with other law enforcement agencies, as well as
civic and business organizations. The DRCs share this knowledge and expertise with groups
which want guidance and direction on how to start and operate drug prevention programs.
||We have been to numerous presentations by various Demand Reduction
Coordinators. In every case, we have been shocked at their lack of knowledge of
basic issues. For example, we have yet to run across even one DRC who has read any
of the Major Studies of Drugs and Drug
Policy. We have found a few agents who were aware that one or two of these
studies had been conducted but, in every case, they were either totally unaware of the
contents, or had been told by their superiors that the reports supported the DEA's
|With input from the DRCs, the Demand Reduction Section at DEA Headquarters
designates priority areas in which to concentrate drug prevention and education
activities. The current national priority areas are Anti-Legalization Education, Law
Enforcement Training, Youth Programs, Drugs in the Workplace, and Coalitions.
||We welcome the chance to discuss the anti-legalization education with the
DEA in any public forum and we have asked them to come to every public presentation we
attend. The DEA consistently refuses to speak in any public forum where they are
likely to have someone question their conduct and policies.
|Anti-Legalization Education: Although polls indicate that
the public strongly opposes any move to legalize drugs, legalization continues to be
advocated by some and widely discussed among others. As a result, DEA has become actively
involved in the legalization debate to heighten public awareness about the issues
surrounding the misconceptions about legalizing drugs. To provide a better understanding
of these issues, DEA has developed a publication called Speaking Out Against
Drug Legalization, which is a how-to guide that assists law enforcement
officials and community leaders in framing arguments against legalization. This
publication is also a good resource guide because it provides the reader with reliable,
well-documented facts and figures that counter many of the legalization experts
claims. In addition to the Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization
guide, DEA provides anti-legalization training and workshops to law enforcement groups and
community organizations to help them prepare for discussing the legalization issue in a
||This is the primary purpose of the "Demand Reduction Program" -
a blatant attempt to persuade the American public to support a political agenda which
directly benefits the DEA. It isn't working very well. They refuse to come out
for any presentation where they might thave some opposition - knowing they will be beaten.
|Law Enforcement Training: DEA has taken a leadership role
in providing drug demand reduction training to law enforcement organizations. Through this
effort, DEA seeks to show law enforcement officers how they can impact the drug problem
outside of the enforcement arena by assisting their local communities in developing drug
prevention and education strategies. To that end, the DRCs serve as instructors in state
and local law enforcement academies and schools and at training programs for Drug Abuse
Resistance Education (DARE) Officers. They also provide assistance to state demand
reduction coordinators and conduct training at state and national conferences for
organizations such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National
Sheriffs Association, and the National Crime Prevention Council.
||The DARE program is another pork barrel project which, like drugs
themselves, feels good at the time but provides no lasting benefit. The Federal
Government's own studies show that DARE either has no effect on drug use by children or
may actually increase the tendency to use drugs. Studies by the State of California
found that the older students got, the less they believed the DARE officers. By the
senior year in high school, more than 90 percent reported that the DARE officers had
little or no credibility. See the DARE page, the DRCNet DARE page, and the Schaffer Library DARE page.
|Youth Programs: DEA strongly supports well-designed youth
programs that help children to stay drug-free. According to the 1994 report of the
University of Michigans Monitoring the Future Study, drug
use among our youth has been on the rise for the past three years, following a number of
years of decline. With this disturbing trend in mind, DEAs emphasis is to provide
children with the tools that they need to resist the pressure to use drugs.
||If the DEA is running these programs, and drug use by youths has been
increasing, the obvious seems to be: the DEA and other law enforcement agencies are not
the best people to be trying to run drug education.
|DEA supports the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program as a
well-organized effort to reach youth with effective prevention messages and to heighten
their awareness of the risks of drug use. In addition, DEAs Network 3 program
provides minority and high-risk youth in inner city schools in Camden, New Jersey, and
Washington, D.C., with a variety of positive activities as alternatives to drugs. DEA also
works with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to help promote healthy, drug-free
lifestyles for children. As an active partner of the Law Enforcement Explorer Program of
the Boy Scouts of America, DEA provides structure and direction for youth with an interest
in law enforcement careers. DEA also utilizes the positive influence of coaches -- from
youth leagues to professional -- on athletes as a tool to combat drug abuse. Through this
effort, DEA provides training for high school coaches to help them develop drug prevention
programs for their school athletic programs, and works with high profile sports figures on
anti-drug initiatives. In addition to these efforts, the DRCs participate in school
adoption and mentoring programs, as well as programs that recognize the positive
accomplishments of young people who remain drug-free.
||DARE is a failure. All of the Federal Government's own research
agrees on that.
See the DARE page, the DRCNet DARE page, and the Schaffer Library DARE page.
|Drugs in the Workplace: Drug abuse costs business and
industry billions of dollars each year in lost productivity, accidents on the job, and
absenteeism. To help employers understand and identify drug use on the job, as well as
develop drug prevention programs for the workplace, the DRCs, in cooperation with local
organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, provide drugs in the workplace training
conferences and seminars to companies throughout the country. Through this effort,
employers can make the workplace safer and more productive by detecting drug abuse and
working to resolve it through anti-drug programs in the workplace.
||The DEA has no accurate figures at all on what the costs of drugs to
business might actually be. When they say "billions of dollars" they are
simply pulling numbers out of the air to try to bolster their own interests.
is that the biggest cost to business from any drug comes from alcohol. Some analysts
have also estimated that tobacco smokers are 15 percent less productive than non-smokers,
because of the time spent smoking. The cost of illegal drugs to business is only a
few percentage points of the costs of alcohol and tobacco -- and, of course, the DEA
doesn't worry about alcohol or tobacco at all.
|Coalitions: DEA works closely with communities interested
in establishing community coalitions to address the drug problems that plague their
neighborhoods. In the development of these coalitions, DEA stresses the need for the
involvement of all segments of the community -- law enforcement, schools, government,
business and industry, churches, and the media -- in order to mount a coordinated response
to local drug-related issues. To support local coalitions, DEA provides guidance in
establishing them, and was a major participant in founding coalitions in Los Angeles,
Dallas, and Richmond, Virginia. DEA also provides training on strategy development and
resource identification to members of community-based coalitions.
||This is a public relations campaign which, at best, has only temporary
impact in limited areas. For a good description of what happens when the DEA moves
into a community to solve problems see A View
From the Front Lines of the Drug War, by Judge Volney Brown.
DRCNet Response: We will be obtaining copies of the reports below
and we will include them on this web site -- with rebuttal.
In conjunction with the Demand Reduction Program, DEA has produced a number of
publications that provide general information and guidance on issues in the drug
prevention arena. A brief description of each follows.
1. A National Strategy for DEAs Demand Reduction Program:
A detailed explanation of the mission of the program and national priority areas. (16
2. Demand Reduction Program Annual Report, 1994: Highlights
program activities and accomplishments. (29 pages)
3. Anabolic Steroids and You: Discusses the dangers of using
anabolic steroids and emphasizes that possession is a federal violation. (Pamphlet)
4. Challenges and Opportunities in Drug Prevention: A
resource guide for law enforcement officers. Co-produced with the National Crime
Prevention Council. (219 pages)
5. Drug Abuse Prevention for Explorers: A Guidebook: Combines
information about the coed Law Enforcement Explorer program of the Boy Scouts of America
with examples of drug prevention programs. (23 pages, currently under revision; supply is
6. LSD -- It Never Went Away: An explanation of what LSD is,
how it affects users, and how its popularity has increased among our youth. (6 pages)
7. Team Up: A Drug Prevention Manual for High School Athletic Coaches:
A detailed manual for coaches seeking to start drug prevention programs for their
athletes. Also stresses the involvement of parents. (47 pages)
8. You Cant Trust CAT: An explanation of what
cat (methcathinone) is, its effects, how it is used, and the penalties for
manufacture or possession. (Pamphlet)
9. Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization: A resource guide
presenting DEAs anti-legalization position. (42 pages)
10. Controlled Substances/Uses and Effects: Color chart
(11" X 17") which enumerates all controlled substances, their categories, uses,
effects, and Schedules under the Controlled Substance Act.
11. LSD Blotter Designs: Color chart (11" X 17")
which gives examples of LSD blotter designs in use on the street.
To receive copies of these publications or additional information about DEAs
Demand Reduction program, call the Demand Reduction Section at 202-307-7936.
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