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National Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention Research:
Presentations, Papers, and Recommendations


Opening Plenary Session

Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention Research

I am pleased to welcome all of you to what I hope will prove to be a landmark meeting and event, bringing together people from all sectors of our society to face the problem of drug abuse. I am particularly pleased to be able to welcome you on behalf of our cosponsor, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and on behalf of our collaborators, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and the National Prevention Network, as well as a long list of cooperating organizations.

I think the breadth and the diversity of the groups and the individuals represented here speak not only to the importance of the problem, but to our Nation's commitment to actually doing something about it. We are here today on behalf of millions of American youth who are at risk of having their lives ravaged by drugs. Our task today is straightforward: to come together as Federal, State, and community leaders to discuss and to decide how best to bring the full power of science to bear on preventing the devastation of our youth.

I am particularly pleased today that we have two of America's most important leaders with us to set us on our course: Donna E. Shalala, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), and General Barry R. McCaffrey, the Director of the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy.

I now would like to introduce to you Secretary Donna Shalala, who was the first woman to head a "Big 10" university, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she nourished not only great research, but also a Rose Bowl-winning football team. She was the president of Hunter College, at that time the youngest person ever to be a college president, and is a great and lifelong leader for the children of our country.

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