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DEA official says don't end drug war

EL PASO, Texas, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A top U.S. narcotics official told a conference on the border drug war that aggressive law enforcement must remain part of strategy to curb drug trafficking.

Anthony Placido, head of intelligence for the DEA, said drugs by nature were "mind-altering substances that destroy human life and create violence" and needed to be fought vigorously.

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"Law enforcement will never be the total response to this problem, but it must be part of the answer," Placido told the audience of U.S. and Mexican officials, politicians and scholars in El Paso, Texas.

The San Diego Union-Tribune said Monday that the weekend conference was notable for the new emphasis on drug treatment and other social programs aimed at letting some of the steam out of the trade.

There were also calls for decriminalization of some drugs by proponents who said drugs were too well entrenched in the United States and that the law of supply and demand was too strong to resist.

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