Week Ending Friday, December 12, 2008

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Author: George W. Bush  | Date: December 11, 2008

Remarks Following a Discussion on Drug Use Reduction,
December 11, 2008

I’ve just had an extraordinary discussion with a group of our fellow citizens; some are pastors, some are ex-cons, some are baseball players, some are docs, some are community activists, all who have come together to talk about a comprehensive strategy to deal with drug use in America.

And our strategy is threefold: one, reduce demand, interdict supply, and then help people who have become addicts. And we’re making progress. No question, there’s still work to do in America, but we are making progress. And one way to note the progress is this statistic: Since 2001, teenage drug use has declined by 25 percent; that means 900,000 fewer teens on drugs.

The strategy can be measured. The implementation requires understanding that grassroots activists—for example, like the faith community—can play an integral work in working alongside government to achieve our objectives. The Admiral here has—Admiral Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, reported about our interdiction efforts—that we’ve been making great progress at interdicting, for example, cocaine being trafficked primarily out of South America and Central America into our country.

And finally I am pleased that the Access to Recovery program and programs like that are vibrant and active, which basically says to an addict: If you so choose, you can redeem your health, redeem your money at a place of love in the faith community.

Lives are changing. People’s lives are being saved. I say government is justice, government is law and—but government must not fear places of love. And so this has been a positive report and a great meeting, and I want to thank you all for coming. More importantly, I want to thank you for being citizens, and not spectators—people who have decided to do something about your personal lives, as well as the lives of those in your communities. It is the collective effort of thousands of social entrepreneurs that help make America a hopeful place.

There will be more work done after I’m out of here, but we have laid the foundationfor a successful effort against drug use, drug supply, and helping those who have been addicted.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 11:09 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks.

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Chicago: George W. Bush, "Remarks Following a Discussion on Drug Use Reduction, December 11, 2008," Week Ending Friday, December 12, 2008 in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, December 12, 2008 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008), 44:1511-1512 Original Sources, accessed July 19, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=221Q2FXAESCW8ZD.

MLA: Bush, George W. "Remarks Following a Discussion on Drug Use Reduction, December 11, 2008." Week Ending Friday, December 12, 2008, in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, December 12, 2008 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008), 44:1511-1512, Original Sources. 19 Jul. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=221Q2FXAESCW8ZD.

Harvard: Bush, GW, 'Remarks Following a Discussion on Drug Use Reduction, December 11, 2008' in Week Ending Friday, December 12, 2008. cited in , United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, December 12, 2008 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008), 44:1511-1512. Original Sources, retrieved 19 July 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=221Q2FXAESCW8ZD.