Turner's approach to the U.S. drug abuse problem included building up enforcement efforts, making marijuana and cocaine a priority, not just heroin, and establishing an education and prevention program. His philosophy was similar to the approach of both President Reagan and White House Counsellor Edwin Meese to the problem of drug abuse. He was hired in July 1981 as a Senior Policy Advisor for Drug Abuse out of the White House Office of Policy Development. Turner was quickly promoted in 1982 to the Director of the Drug Abuse Policy Office. As Turner led the study group that formulated the administration`s legislative package to fight illegal drugs and came up with Reagan`s executive order on the subject, his visibility grew. He often traveled with First Lady Nancy Reagan when she toured her "Just Say No" campaign. So in 1983, he was again promoted to Special Assistant to the President for Drug Abuse Policy and eventually to Deputy Assistant to the President for Drug Abuse in March 1985. Throughout his six years fighting drug abuse, Turner served as the President’s adviser for drug abuse policy and assisted both he and First Lady Nancy Reagan with domestic and international drug abuse education projects. During his time, the Office of Drug Abuse Policy produced two policy books on U.S. Drug Abuse Policy in 1982 and 1984. Turner was known for his focus on the law enforcement side of drug abuse policy. It was his first priority and fit in with soon-to-be Attorney General Edwin Meese's approach. Turner was very comfortable with law enforcement agencies and increased the involvement of the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the overall drug abuse policy. Turner believed strongly that prevention of drug use is more effective than treatment of drug addiction. Turner left the White House staff effective December 31, 1986.