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A New Government Initiative

In early 1998, President Clinton announced the federal government would be spending $17.1 billion on a major initiative aimed at curbing drug abuse in the U.S. The Administration is already spending $195 million for a campaign aimed at reducing youth drug use by 50 percent over the next decade. This is one of the largest paid advertising efforts ever undertaken by the government. The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign's objective is to challenge media messages and images that "glamorize, legitimize, normalize, or otherwise condone drug use." The ads target nine-to-seventeen-year-old kids and the adults who influence them.

The Administration also plans to spend $50 million to put 1,300 prevention coordinators in junior high schools and middle schools to help schools develop and implement sound prevention programs and strategies. The Education Department is trying to develop an expert review panel to identify promising or exemplary drug and violence prevention programs such as Life Skills. The Administration also will be spending $146 million in fiscal year 1999 on a youth tobacco initiative, and another $50 million to expand federal research on drug and underage alcohol use.

-- Janet Firshein

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