Four-Star Gen. Barry McCaffrey To Keynote Air Force Worldwide Substance Abuse Conference In St. Louis
Will Describe Progress throughout Military since Pervasive Drug Use in 60’s and 70’s, But Challenges Remain in new War on Terror:
10:00AM Monday, May 23, Open to Media, also Press Availability Following: Hyatt Regency Union Station, One St. Louis Union Station, Regency Ballroom
(St. Louis, MO) – Former U.S. National Drug Policy Director, the nation’s longest serving “Drug Czar” (1996-2001), Four-Star General Barry McCaffrey (Ret), will keynote the U.S. Air Force Worldwide Substance Abuse Conference at 10:00 AM, Monday, May 23, in St. Louis. The event is at the Hyatt Regency Union Station, Regency Ballroom. The address will be open to media, and General McCaffrey, joined by Air Force officials, will have a media availability immediately following (approx. 10:45) for interviews and additional comments.
Gen. McCaffrey plans to point to enormous progress through all military branches since pervasive drug use in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but will also discuss remaining challenges in alcoholism and illegal drugs.
McCaffrey, now the Bradley Distinguished Professor of National Security Studies at West Point, a terrorism expert in the media, and head of an Arlington, VA consulting company, asserts, “The U.S. Army that I’ve been a part of and love was almost destroyed by alcohol abuse and illegal drugs in the 70’s. Up to two-thirds of our soldiers were using drugs, and the impact on our discipline, on the levels of violence, our spiritual loss of focus, and our physical health was just atrocious.
“A very effective program of prevention, including random drug testing, beginning in 1981, dramatically cut usage from an estimated 40 percent for marijuana and other drugs to around one percent today. Zero-tolerance policies and more accurate drug tests have further reduced use.
“However, serious challenges remain under the pressures of our current War on Terror. We must stay on our guard and work hard to prevent upsurges of abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs.”
McCaffrey will congratulate key U.S. Air Force anti-drug officials, including: Surgeon General, Lieutenant General Dr. George Peach Taylor Jr.; Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Robinson, Manager of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program; and Dr. Milton Cambridge, Demand Reduction Prevention and Outreach Coordinator, on the success and reach of their program.