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Fact Sheet: Significant, Long-Term Reductions in Youth Drug Use

December 11, 2007

President Bush Discusses Decline In Youth Drug Use With Office Of National Drug Control Policy Director John Walters

Today, President Bush was briefed on the latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) Study, which tracks drug use among America's young people. In 2002, the President committed our Nation to an ambitious goal of cutting drug use among young people by 25 percent over the next five years. With the support of Congress, the hard work of law enforcement officials, the dedication of treatment professionals, some bold interventions against drug traffickers by foreign allies in places like Mexico and Colombia, and the tireless efforts of thousands of faith-based and community organizations around the country – on their own and with support from Federal programs such as the President's voucher-based Access to Recovery program – we have achieved significant declines in drug use.

  • As a result of the balanced anti-drug strategies being implemented at the Federal, State, and local levels, there are approximately 860,000 fewer young people using illicit drugs today than there were in 2001.

The MTF Study Shows Our Efforts To Reduce Youth Drug Use Are Achieving Significant Results

The latest MTF study shows a remarkable decline in past-month youth drug use from 2001 to 2007.

  • Use of any illicit drug dropped approximately 24 percent.
  • Marijuana use decreased approximately 25 percent.
  • Steroid use dropped by approximately one third.
  • Ecstasy use dropped approximately 54 percent, cutting usage down to less than one half of what it was in 2001.
  • Methamphetamine use decreased approximately 64 percent.

Attacking illegal drug use reduces abuse of other substances by youth as well. Use of alcohol, including binge drinking, and cigarettes have decreased by 15 and 33 percent, respectively.

Challenges remain, for example in the area of prescription drug abuse and attitudes toward ecstasy use. Overall, youth prescription drug abuse is the second largest category of abuse, only behind marijuana.While teen use of illegal drugs is showing remarkable decline,teen abuse of prescription painkillers remains alarmingly high.

Monitoring the Future is funded through research grants from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, studying behaviors, attitudes, and values of American middle and high school students. MTF has been conducted by the University of Michigan since 1975. The 2007 Study surveyed 48,025 eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders in a nationally representative sample of 403 public and private schools.

More information about the Monitoring the Future Study is available at In addition, a summary of the study's results and a fact sheet highlighting key findings may be accessed on the website of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Significant, Long-Term Reductions in Youth Drug Use Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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