War on Drugs: The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Page: 1 of 6
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Order Code RS21490
Updated July 3, 2006
CR8 Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
War on Drugs: The National Youth Anti-Drug
Specialist in Social Legislation
Domestic Social Policy Division
Authorization of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a multi-media
federal program to persuade America's youth not to use drugs, expired at the end of
FY2002. H.R. 2829 (passed by the House on March 13, 2006) and S. 2560 (reported
by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 25, 2006) would reauthorize the media
campaign, along with the other programs run by the Office of National Drug Control
Policy (ONDCP). H.R. 5576, the House-passed appropriations bill that funds ONDCP,
proposes $100 million for the campaign for FY2007. The media campaign's
effectiveness has been questioned, and the program has engendered its share of
controversy. Nevertheless, ONDCP, the office of the "drug czar," is optimistic that
recent changes in campaign strategy will help to reduce illegal drug use by young
people. This report will be updated as legislative activity occurs.
Although it accounts for less than 1% of the federal drug-control budget, the
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is, for many Americans, the most visible
aspect of the war on drugs. This is by design. The campaign's strategy is based on the
belief that its efforts to persuade young people not to use illegal drugs will be effective
only if its messages are seen repeatedly by large numbers of youth and by the adults who
influence them - such as parents, teachers, clergy, and mentors. According to
congressional testimony in 2003, the campaign's broadcast, print, and Internet ads reach
about 90% of all teens at least four times per week at a cost to taxpayers of less than $8
per teenager per year.'
Congressional Research Service + The Library of Congress
'The facts cited in this paper, unless otherwise noted, are drawn from U.S. Congress, House
Committee on Government Reform, ONDCP Reauthorization: The National Youth Anti-Drug
Media Campaign, 108h Cong., 1St sess., Mar. 27, 2003 (Washington: GPO, 2003).
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War on Drugs: The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, report, July 3, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc807473/m1/1/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.