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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 20, 1997


December 20, 1997

Encouraging News. The 1997 Monitoring the Future (MTF) study by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that for most drugs and for most school grades -- and for the first time since 1991 -- teen drug use seems to be leveling off and, in some cases, even decreasing. Specifically, this year's MTF found:

Progress On Drug-Related Crime. Earlier this year, the Justice Department released studies showing that methamphetamine use declined between 7% and 52% in 8 key cities (Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, and San Jose), and that crack use was down substantially -- by at least 10% -- in 10 major cities (Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Jose, and Washington, DC). Drug-related murders also dropped to their lowest point in a decade.

Much More Still Needs to be Done. Unfortunately, despite these signs of progress, drug use remains unacceptably high. Too many kids are still using drugs, and too many kids still do not understand the risks associated with them. Motivating kids to reject the use of illegal drugs must be our number one priority.

Time to Redouble Our Efforts. MTF is the second national survey this year to show that we have an opportunity to reverse recent increases in adolescent drug use. That is why now is the time, as teen drug use begins to level off and younger students show their disapproval, to reach out to our kids.

The President's Anti-Drug Youth Media Campaign. Starting January 5th, the Administration will launch an unprecedented $195 million paid media campaign that uses the full force of the media -- from prime time television to the Internet to sports marketing -- to educate kids and parents about the dangers of drugs. The campaign will begin with ads in 12 pilot cities -- Atlanta, Baltimore, Boise, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Milwaukee, Portland, San Diego, Sioux City, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. -- and spread throughout the country before the end of next year.