Iowa’s new drug czar hopes to convince prison officials and legislatorsto let non-violent drug offenders forego time in prison if they successfullycomplete a substance abuse treatment program.Bruce Upchurch says the toughest part of the war on illegal drugs is helpingaddicts get clean. Upchurch, Iowa’s new drug enforcement and abuseprevention coordinator, spent 27 years with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency,cracking down on dealers and users. Upchurch spent little time ontreatment, but this summer he’ll be evaluating the state’s treatmentprograms and deciding which programs get the new state money that’savailable.Upchurch says it’s not easy to help someone beat an addiction.Upchurch says there are some positive signs in the drug war. He says fourout of five teenagers DON’T do drugs, and those kids who’ve decided notto use should be considered heroes.
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