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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Tom Riley / Rafael Lemaitre 202–395–6618
Wednesday, July 17, 2002

WHITE HOUSE DRUG CZAR SEES 'HOPEFUL' SIGNS IN ANNUAL PRIDE SURVEY

(Washington, DC)—John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy, commended the National Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education, Inc. (PRIDE) for their research efforts and continuing commitment to help meet President Bush's goals of reducing drug use in America. The 2001-2002 PRIDE survey is one of several instruments used by the government to monitor youth drug use and surveys grades 6 through 12 from August to June.

"This year's PRIDE survey shows hopeful signs of reduced drug use among 101,000 students in 21 states. The September 11th attacks sent shockwaves through our nation's schools just as kids were beginning their school year. Americans from all walks of life, particularly children, were reminded of how fragile so many important things in our society are. This year's PRIDE survey suggests that young Americans may be taking their lives and communities more seriously by saying no to drugs."

Below are some of the highlights from the survey:

  • Combined annual use of illicit drugs fell 9 percent from 24.6 to 22.3 percent—while combined annual use of alcoholic beverages fell from 52.1 to 50.4 percent—a 3 percent rate of decline. Monthly use of any illicit drugs likewise dropped 9 percent, from 14.8 percent in the previous school year to 13.4 percent.
  • Students in the PRIDE survey who said their teachers and parents warn them "a lot" about drugs reported lower drug use than students who said their teachers and parents never do so (15 versus 32 percent for teacher warnings and 17 versus 31 percent for parental warnings).
  • Students who participated in extra-curricular school activities also used drugs less (17 percent for those who participate "a lot" versus 32 percent for those who "never" participate). A similar pattern emerged for students who attended religious services "a lot" compared to those who "never" attended (13 versus 36 percent drug use).
  • Asked when they used marijuana, 2 percent of students said during school, compared with 14 percent who said they smoked pot on weekends. Less than 1 percent (0.9 percent) said they drank beer and liquor during school, while nearly a quarter of students said they drank on weekends (26.4 percent beer; 23.9 percent liquor).
  • More than nine out of ten students (95 percent) in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 in Ohio said they have seen and heard anti-drug commercials on television and radio within the past three months, and 74.5 percent said the commercials have made them less likely to use drugs.
  • Students who joined gangs used more drugs (61 percent use for gang members versus 19 percent for non-members).

The PRIDE survey supplements findings from upcoming national samples, including the Monitoring the Future survey and the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. A more complete profile of overall drug use in America will be available by the end of the year.

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