November 1, 1983

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Drug abuse in the United States continues to be a major threat to the future of our Nation. Millions of our citizens are risking their health and their future by abusing drugs. The effects are clearly demonstrated by the tragic reports in daily news accounts of innocent people killed by drunk drivers, death by overdose, drug-related murders, drug smuggling, and other public outrages. Less obvious, but more pervasive, are the individual tragedies which destroy a person or family and which may cause loss of a job, interruption of schooling, and a reduction in our Nation's productivity.

Federal, State, and local governments have established programs to reduce the supply of illegal drugs. Similarly, government has encouraged the establishment of facilities for providing medical treatment for those suffering from this problem and sponsored extensive research on the effects of drug use. However, government cannot hope to solve the problems of drug abuse without the help of every American.

Drug abuse is a national problem and a target of a nationwide program. All across America, our citizens, community organizations, and the private sector have recognized that they can make a difference in the battle against this serious concern. Expanded drug abuse awareness efforts, the banding together of concerned parents, and the involvement of many community groups are lowering the rate of drug abuse which prevailed during the Seventies. There has been increasing attention focused on the potential of mass communications to discourage drug abuse.

Numerous public education efforts are epitomized in the excellent Chemical People Project which will be presented on public broadcasting stations across the United States on November 2 and 9, 1983. The Chemical People Project is an example of how a grassroots approach to organizing town meetings and community efforts can break through the ``wall of denial'' common to alcohol and drug abuse and can stimulate constructive action where it counts -- in ourselves. We must continue to encourage and support efforts to educate our citizens to the health and societal consequences of drug abuse. Such efforts are an essential foundation for a successful national program to reduce and prevent drug abuse in our country.

In order to draw attention to the seriousness of the drug abuse problem and to encourage the education of parents and children in the home, classroom, and community to the impact of illegal drug abuse, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 57, has designated the week of November 2 through November 9, 1983, as National Drug Abuse Education Week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of November 2 through November 9, 1983, as National Drug Abuse Education Week. I call on all Americans to join the battle against drug abuse to protect our children so that we ensure a healthy and productive generation of Americans as our contribution to the future.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:34 a.m., November 2, 1983]