Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani
MAYOR'S MESSAGE

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, February 28, 1999

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Further Reducing Drug Abuse for Ourselves and Our Children
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

This week, I traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak before a United States House subcommittee on the progress New York City has made in reducing drug abuse and the critical role that this success has played in building a safer city for all New Yorkers.

First, let's look at the severity of the problem. 70 to 80 percent of those arrested in New York City each year test positive for drug use. And according to a study released last month, children whose parents abuse drugs and alcohol are almost 3 times likelier to be abused and more than 4 times likelier to be neglected than children of parents who are not substance abusers. To address this crisis, over the last five years - and particularly since October of 1997 - we've intensified the City's anti-drug strategies like never before.

In education, we have increased our commitment to the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, reaching out to 315 schools last year alone, and expanding the program to after-school hours. We've also doubled the number of Safe Corridors for Children - which intensify police patrols surrounding schools just before and after school hours - and initiated a major public education campaign to articulate the dangers of drugs.

Drug treatment slots at Rikers Island have nearly quadrupled… and the New York City Department of Probation's treatment capacity is being dramatically expanded.

And we are demanding that all treatment programs funded by the City get results. For instance, work must be included as a fundamental part of any drug treatment - because the most important part of successful rehabilitation from addiction is reintegrating recovering addicts into society so that they are able to take care of themselves and their families.

But it's in the area of law enforcement that our progress is probably most visible. The core of these efforts, above and beyond the very important implementation of Drug-Free Parks, Drug-Free School Zones, the Model Block program and other initiatives, has been the roll-out of 13 anti-drug enforcement initiatives all throughout the City. Four of these initiatives - in South Brooklyn, Northern Queens, Central Bronx and East Harlem - began just last week. The idea is to blanket the City and give drug dealers no place to hide.

It's working. Last year, in precincts with new narcotics initiatives, crime dropped over 16 percent - with a 22 percent decline in shooting incidents. Compare that to the substantial, but lower, single-year citywide drops of 10 percent in overall crime and 8 percent in shooting incidents.

We are at a critical moment in our ongoing effort to address drug abuse realistically and relentlessly. If we work all work together - acknowledging that we still have a long way to go - we can make a tremendous difference and move closer to the drug-free New York City we all want and need.

From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.



 

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