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August 2, 1999: Educating Our Nations Youth to Reject Drugs

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"It is nearly impossible to avoid seeing or hearing our anti-drug messages on television or radio several times a week. Everywhere young people go during every part of the day, they will see more than the television. They will see the message that drugs are wrong, they can kill, they are illegal."

President Bill Clinton
August 2, 1999

Today, at the White House, President Clinton and ONDCP Director Barry McCaffrey unveiled a new brand, new anti-drug advertisements, and announced innovative partnerships that will further expand the reach of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The President also released a report showing that the Campaign is successfully reaching youth and adults with its powerful messages that denormalize drug use and educate children that drugs are wrong and dangerous.

The National Youth Anti-drug Media Campaign. In 1997, President Clinton and Director McCaffrey launched the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the largest targeted effort ever to teach youth about drugs. The Campaign uses the full power of the modern media – including television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, and sports marketing – to encourage young people to reject drug use. The Campaign also helps parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, and other responsible adults talk to kids about drugs and get more involved in the lives of young people.

Highlighting the Success of the Campaign. Begun as a 12-city pilot, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign was expanded to Phase II in July 1998 by President Clinton. Today, the President released an evaluation of Phase II, showing that it has surpassed expectations and is successfully changing youth attitudes and alerting our kids to the dangers of drugs. The evaluation showed:

  • the Campaign has exceeded its goal of reaching 90% of target audiences at a frequency of 4-7 times a week;
  • the percentage of youth claiming that the ads “made them stay away from drugs” rose from 61% to 69%; and
  • the percentage of youth reporting that they “learned a lot about the drugs from the ads” rose from 44% to 55%.

Expanding the Campaign's Reach. President Clinton unveiled new components of Phase III of the Campaign, including:

  • a new brand, “The ANTI-DRUG”, which will serve as a consistent symbol that unites the Campaign and helps increase its impact;
  • new television and radio ads with new messages designed for target audiences; and
  • new public-private partnerships that will generate a wide range of coordinated anti-drug activities with schools, civic organizations, community anti-drug coalitions, and others.

Building on a Record of Accomplishments. President Clinton has consistently proposed the largest, most ambitious anti-drug budgets ever – including $17.8 billion for FY 2000. His 1999 National Drug Control Strategy is a comprehensive ten-year plan designed to cut drug use and availability in half. Among other initiatives, his strategy:

  • continues the Anti-Drug Media Campaign;
  • improves and expands the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program;
  • carries forward the Drug-Free Communities program;
  • shields our borders with advanced drug detection technologies; and

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