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The Partnership at Drugfree.org Responds to New Research Linking Reduced Drug Use Among Young Girls and Exposure to Drug Abuse Prevention Messages

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Statement of Steve Pasierb, President and CEO

New York, NY – March 31, 2011 – An independent study published in this month’s American Journal of Public Health found a link between greater exposure to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP’s) “Above the Influence” campaign and reduced drug use among females. The research found that girls “might be especially receptive to” drug abuse prevention messages about achievement and living life above negative influences that are part of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign (NYADMC).

the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids today welcomed the new study findings that come at a time when, over the past seven years, cuts in federal funding for the campaign have drastically reduced teens’ exposure to its drug abuse prevention messages by two-thirds – placing future funding and support for the NYADMC in serious doubt.

 “This new research serves as scientific evidence that the NYADMC’s ‘Above the Influence’ messages are working and are published when they are most needed to counter pro-drug influences in popular culture,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Parents, in particular, are in real need of any effective help they can get in delivering the message to their kids that being under the influence is being less than you can be.”

ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske pointed to the unique pressures on girls that can lead to initiation of substance use, saying “That is why we must support effective community-based campaigns like “Above the Influence” that protect our young people from the harm of drug use.”

The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is a unique public/private partnership that leverages its federal investment to secure a dollar-for-dollar media match in support of the campaign’s targeted anti-drug messages. the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids works with ONDCP to enlist the participation of multiple advertising agencies across the country, whose pro bono creative work is featured in the NYADMC, in conjunction with abovetheinfluence.com, the Campaign’s website for teens, and with grassroots prevention activities that are engaging youth in communities nationwide.

About the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is a nonprofit organization that helps parents prevent, intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children. Bringing together renowned scientists, parent experts and communications professionals, this public health nonprofit translates current research on teen behavior, parenting, addiction and treatment into easy to understand resources at drugfree.org. The organization also reaches families through its community education programs which focus on local drug and alcohol issues of concern for parents, youth and the Hispanic community. the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector and is thankful to SAG/AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity.

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