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THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Press Secretary
                   (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts)
________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                    August 21, 1998

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today's 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse shows that while overall drug use remains flat, teen drug use continues to represent a serious and growing problem. That is why last month, I launched a five-year, $2 billion Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign -- to use the full force of the media to make sure that our children get the message that drugs are dangerous, wrong, and can kill you. That is also why I have asked Congress to pass a comprehensive drug strategy that aims to cut youth drug use in half through better prevention, more effective treatment, tougher law enforcement, and improved interdiction. And finally, that is a powerful reason why I have tried to do as much as possible to curb youth use of tobacco -- because as today's survey also shows, teen smokers are about 12 times as likely to use illegal drugs as those who don't smoke.

But our efforts depend on all Americans -- parents, teachers, coaches, and clergy -- taking responsibility and talking to our children about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. If we all take this first and important step, we can finally reverse this longstanding trend and help keep our nation's children drug-free.

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