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PRESS RELEASE
 

   NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CITIZEN ANTI-DRUG POLICY 

Great Falls, Virginia, 703-759-2215

 June 8, 2006

Contact: DeForest Rathbone, 703-759-2215. DZR@prodigy.net,  Joyce Nalepka, 301-681-7861, Amercares@aol.com, Roger Morgan, 619-475-9941, Rogermorgan339@sbcglobal.net . Carla Lowe, 916-965-4825, Carladlowe@aol.com

DEA VIGIL MEMORIALIZES YOUTHS LOST TO DRUGS

Petitioning Government to Redress the Grievance of Illegal Drugs Endangering America’s Children

     On June 8, 2006, the Drug Enforcement Administration held a vigil commemorating the massive loss of America’s youth to drugs- and recognizing the unrestrained suffering of families whose grief from those losses touches us all.  This public event was held during twilight hours at the DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia where candles were lit to symbolize the many lives that have been snuffed out by drugs.  See announcement at http://www.vigilforlostpromise.com/event.html

     The vigil featured parents of children whose untimely deaths resulted directly from the use of illegal drugs.  The leadership of these grieving parents in this nation’s war on drugs is bringing to public understanding a much-needed awareness of this horrific national crisis.  The event was attended by hundreds of drug prevention activists from throughout the nation and their supporters among sympathetic federal and local government officials, school officials and the public.

     The vigil was led by DEA Administrator Karen Tandy as assisted by Ginger Katz and other bereaved parents.  Mrs. Tandy announced that we are “losing one young person to drugs every 20 minutes.”

     Joyce Nalepka, President of Drug Free Kids: America’s Challenge and former president of Nancy Reagan’s National Federation of Parents during the Reagan administration said, “The nation’s parents deeply appreciate the leadership of DEA Administrator Karen Tandy in sponsoring this important awareness event to alert America to the need to do more to protect its children from drugs.  And parents also are deeply grateful to ONDCP Director John Walters for his strong leadership to get drugs out of our kids’ schools and out of their lives by strongly promoting random student drug testing.  And especially do we thank President Bush for his support of student drug testing saying in his 2004 State of the Union Address, ‘Drug testing in our schools has proven to be an effective tool to save children’s lives.  The aim here is not to punish children but to send them this message: We love you and we do not want to lose you.’”

     “Our hope and prayer is that this event will finally precipitate a breakthrough in the widespread denial of the terrible damage caused by the plague of drug abuse in America, particularly in schools,” said DeForest Rathbone, Chairman of National Institute of Citizen Anti-drug Policy (NICAP).

     Below are listed important facts related to America’s national health crisis of massive drug related deaths and social problems among drug addicted youths, their families and their communities.  

·  America’s drug overdose death rate has now reached 34,945 per year according to recent CDC estimates, having increased nearly 10% yearly throughout the past decade.  See attached CEDARS bar chart.  For perspective, this drug overdose death rate is equivalent to the 9/11 terrorism deaths occurring EACH MONTH all year long.  And non-overdose drug related death rates are even three times higher than that!

· The bedrock foundation for this ongoing national drug death crisis is the early introduction and addiction of schoolchildren to drugs.  Recent studies show that 47% of youths say drugs are used, kept, or sold in their schools.  And student surveys consistently report that about one-third to one-half of high school students admit to current (past 30 day) use of drugs including alcohol which is an illegal drug for children.

· Studies show that youths who get through high school without using drugs, seldom have a problem with drugs after reaching adulthood.  Young developing brains are extremely vulnerable to damage from drugs and need to be protected by early public health screening for exposure to dangerous substances.

·  Most health professionals agree that drug addiction is a treatable disease that, with early screening and diagnosis, can be prevented and/or successfully treated.  New drug testing technology perfected during a quarter century of successful use now provides effective, reliable and economical drug screening.

·  Random drug testing has essentially eliminated drug use among the tested populations in the military,

transportation industry, critical government agencies, businesses and among the tested students in the thousands of schools currently implementing non-punitive Random Student Drug Testing (RSDT.)

·        Recent studies of the extent of school drug testing confirm that about one-third of this nation’s high

schools already utilize some form of drug testing with about 14% implementing RSDT, and over 2% currently testing ALL students even without Supreme Court endorsement.  School drug testing has tripled during the past two years with increased federal funding.

·        Unfortunately, today there is overwhelming opposition to RSDT by aggressive drug legalization

 lobbyists who are heavily funded by billionaire international financiers, and whose blackmail type threats of expensive lawsuits intimidate many school boards into a reluctance to initiate RSDT.  Under that virulent opposition, the vast majority (nearly 70%) of America’s schools today are severely polluted with a dangerous residue of the most at-risk, drug using, violent and contagious “Typhoid Mary” type kids spreading the disease of drug addiction and related death and destruction among their schoolmates.

·        This youth drug crisis has continued unabated for the past four decades!  And despite efforts to use

education, interdiction and criminal justice, none of those has ever been able to effectively stop this national health crisis to date, although all those efforts must continue.  This national crisis has now reached such overwhelming proportions that emergency federal government action is warranted!

·        Last January, based upon the continuing drug devastation of children, and the disease concept of drug

addiction, over 60 national drug prevention leaders joined in a letter to the White House and Congress by California drug prevention leaders Roger Morgan and Carla Lowe requesting federal authorization and support for adapting successful prototype RSDT technology to a new public health program of mandatory school health screening of ALL students for drugs for therapeutic purposes only.  Federal endorsement and support for such an initiative would provide a “Salk vaccine” type of effective solution to this epidemic disease of drug addiction among children .  The Salk vaccine quickly ended the deadly plague of Polio.  We are still awaiting a response.  Copies of the letter are available upon request.

·        The enormous spin-off commerce generated by the $500 billion international drug trafficking industry is

blinding some government, business, legal and health professionals to the need to take emergency action to eliminate this nationwide deadly drug epidemic among children.  This continuing lucrative and corrupting illegal drug commerce is thriving on the continuing early introduction and addiction of children to their harmful products.

     Therefore, we call upon all people of faith to recognize our limited earthly ability to protect our children from the forces of evil as have inundated us with drugs from the vicious and greedy drug traffickers who employ violence, corruption and terrorism.  So we ask all concerned citizens to now join us in our prayer petitions to Almighty God in a united request that God directly intervene NOW in this tragic war on drugs by putting into the minds and hearts of our government officials and citizen leaders the ideas, the courage and the leadership necessary to do whatever needs to be done to end this betrayal of our children to further death, destruction and enslavement to drugs.

     We also pray that God directly intervene in the hearts and minds of America’s journalists that they might be more balanced in their reporting on this urgent issue by seeking and publicizing commentary from parent drug prevention activists instead of mainly from the opponents of drug screening such as the ACLU and the Drug Policy Alliance, etc. as frequently has been the case in their coverage of drug issues.

     And finally, we especially pray that God’s Peace and Assurance will remain with each of the families of those loved ones lost to drugs, and with the families of those yet to be lost, as they in unimaginable anguish and sorrow await an ultimate solution to this evil raging plague of drug destruction among our children.   

     As our nation has successfully called upon the Deity in its founding and in the many challenges to its preservation throughout the ages, let us now recommit ourselves to the concept that by and under God we can break this nation’s chains of slavery to illegal drugs.  As President Lincoln said, “This nation cannot remain half slave and half free.”  That wisdom certainly applies today!

     Please join us in this effort to rescue America’s children by publicizing and advocating the ideas presented above.  Those who would like to join with others in formal prayer for our success can easily find help through the “Pray for the Children” initiative at the link www.prayforthechildren.net

     God bless you, and God bless America              

NICAP is a non-partisan, non-denominational Christian outreach ministry seeking participation from people of all faiths in calling upon the power of Almighty God to intervene in America’s war on drugs.  Our logo represents families armed only with our faith in God and our First Amendment Rights in a David and Goliath battle against the corrupting vast wealth and intimidating armed power of the illegal drug industry.