Administrator Asa Hutchinson
Introduces Innovative Drug Strategy
Asa Hutchinson, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration
announced today a coordinated anti-drug plan that combines law enforcement
with intensive community follow-up designed to reduce drug demand. The
program, entitled “IDEA” for Integrated Drug Enforcement Assistance,
will team the DEA with state and local law enforcement to arrest and
prosecute the most significant drug traffickers within designated
communities, and will then form coalitions to reduce demand through drug
prevention and treatment.
Administrator Hutchinson stated, “This new initiative is consistent
with President Bush’s message last Friday in which he emphasized that
both education and drug enforcement are essential to solving America’s
drug problem.” President Bush stated, “America cannot pick and choose
between these goals. All are necessary if any are to be effective.”
Administrator Hutchinson continued, “Under this new initiative, the
DEA will combine a law enforcement effort with a partnership alongside
community coalitions for a long-lasting impact to reduce demand through
drug prevention and treatment programs.”
The program will consist of Community Action Teams encompassing DEA
enforcement personnel with an on-site Demand Reduction Coordinator and a
DEA Intelligence Analyst. This program aims to double the number of Demand
Reduction personnel within DEA and ultimately place a Demand Reduction
Coordinator in every state.
A community commitment is the focus of IDEA. Follow-up to enforcement
efforts will involve community-based organizations, businesses,
faith-based organizations, parks and recreation departments, schools, drug
courts, and restorative justice. The program will also include an advisory
council comprised of officials from law enforcement, the judiciary,
substance abuse, and crime prevention. These experts will consult with DEA
on the program design, its implementation, and the final evaluation.
In addition to the contributions of professional personnel to IDEA, the
program will incorporate volunteers consisting of current and former law
enforcement employees, concerned citizens, and youth group volunteers.
This will be augmented with demand reduction training in areas of
community mobilization, coalition building, prevention and treatment.
Administrator Hutchinson will encourage DOJ asset forfeiture recipients to
increase contributions to community demand reduction efforts.
In summary, Administrator Hutchinson stated, “The answer to
America’s drug problem must come from the community. This is good, grass
roots democracy at its old-fashioned best. DEA is proud to partner with
neighborhoods across the nation to make a safer America. Together,
that’s how we’ll win against drugs—one community, one neighborhood,
one life at a time becoming drug-free.”
For further information concerning the press conference, please
Special Agent Michael Chapman, Chief of Public Affairs, (202) 307-7977
Special Agent Pam Brown, IDEA Coordinator, (202) 307-8000