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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Rafael Lemaitre / Jennifer de Vallance
             (202) 395-6649
             In St. Louis: 202-345-7912
Tuesday, October 9, 2001

ACTING WHITE HOUSE DRUG POLICY DIRECTOR TO GIVE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE AMERICAN METHADONE TREATMENT ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE IN ST LOUIS OCTOBER 10th
11:30 am Millenium Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri

(Washington, DC)–Edward H. Jurith, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), will give the keynote address to the American Methadone Treatment Association conference Tuesday, October 10th at 11:30 am. The keynote address is open to the press and will take place in the ballroom of the Millennium Hotel, 200 S. Fourth St in St. Louis.

Acting Director Jurith stated, "Providing access to proven treatment methods for America's chronic drug abusers is a worthwhile endeavor. It is both compassionate public policy and a sound investment. National studies have found that methadone treatment reduced participants' heroin use by 70 percent and their criminal activity by 57 percent, while increasing full-time employment by 24 percent. We commend the American Methadone Treatment Association for bringing together patient advocates, regulators, decision makers and public officials from all levels to discuss how we can further improve treatment systems for addicted individuals.

Juirth continued, "AMTA along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) have also made a major step forward by issuing new clinical guidelines for methadone treatment. These guidelines substantially and fundamentally reform the federal government's role in assuring that methadone treatment programs are both effective and accountable for results."

Methadone is dispensed from more than nine hundred specialized clinics around the United States within the context of counseling, drug testing, and other services required by federal, state, and local regulators.

The American Methadone Treatment Association works with federal agencies and state substance abuse authorities concerning methadone policy. The American Methadone Treatment Association developed the State Methadone Guidelines, in conjunction with the American Society of Addiction Medicine, for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

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