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Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jennifer de Vallance (202) 395-6618
August 1, 2001

ONDCP Reports Progress in The National Youth Anti-drug Media Campaign

Washington, DC—Following his testimony before the House Government Reform Committee, Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources, Edward H. Jurith, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) made the following statement:

"Since 1998, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has been the most visible symbol of the federal government's commitment to drug prevention. The Media Campaign is a comprehensive communications strategy that reaches Americans with science-based anti-drug messages where they live, work, learn, play, and pray.

"The campaign uses a variety of media to empower young people and their parents to make healthy decisions about illegal drug use. Advertising on television, radio, print and the Internet is the cornerstone of the Media Campaign. ONDCP delivers anti-drug messages through more than 1,300 media outlets across the country, and has formed more than 100 strategic partnerships to extend the reach of the campaign's message.

"In addition to taking pride in the national and international recognition of the campaign's initiatives and achievements, ONDCP has always taken seriously its responsibilities as steward of this important public health program. We have consistently taken swift and appropriate measures to protect the public purse and maintain the effectiveness of the Media Campaign, even though the complexities of contracting issues for this massive effort have posed some administrative challenges.

"Thanks to bipartisan support from Congress; the expertise of health care, advertising, and marketing professionals; and the tireless efforts of countless parents, educators, and community activists; this crucial drug prevention program is working. Campaign advertising reaches about 90 percent of all teens 4.3 times per week, and 83 percent of all adults 3.4 times per week.

"Mounting research indicates the Media Campaign is helping change attitudes about drug use. Three leading national studies point out that a majority of youth surveyed have seen anti-drug advertising. ONDCP studies show that most of these young people report having thought about their own 'Anti-Drugs' – the important things in their lives keeping them from drugs, and a major advertising initiative of the Media Campaign. As more data is collected, we are confident that it will unequivocally demonstrate the Media Campaign is having a positive effect on reducing youth drug use."

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