Statement by the President: National Household Survey (08/31/2000)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                           August 31,

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today?s 1999 National Household Survey demonstrates that we are
continuing to move in the right direction on the problem of youth drug and
tobacco use in America.  The report released by Department of Health and
Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and Office of National Drug Control
Policy Director Barry McCaffrey shows that last year, illicit drug use by
young people ages 12-17 declined, continuing a downward trend over the last
three years.  Since 1997, overall youth drug use is down by more than 20
percent, and youth marijuana use has declined by over 25 percent.  In
addition, while today?s report shows underage alcohol use is still at
unacceptable levels, it also shows that tobacco use among young people is
beginning to decline significantly, following a period of increases earlier
in the 1990?s.

     These findings prove that we are successfully reversing dangerous
trends and making important progress.  However, none of us can afford to
let down our guard in the fight against drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse --
especially when it comes to our children.  While we must continue to engage
communities, parents, teachers and young people in our efforts to drive
youth drug and tobacco use down to even lower levels, Congress must also
play an important role.

     When Congress returns to Washington, I urge them to build on our
success by fully funding my Administration?s substance abuse prevention and
treatment initiatives, including the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which
is sending a powerful message to young people across the nation about the
dangers of drugs.  Congress should also join Vice President Gore and me in
making the health of our children a priority by rejecting the interests of
big tobacco and letting the American taxpayers have their day in court.
Working together, we can give our children healthy drug- and tobacco-free


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