Since 1991, we have witnessed significant increases in the use of drugs,
such as tobacco, inhalants, and marijuana, by young Americans. For example,
surveys show that current use of tobacco (use in the 30 days prior to the
survey) has increased by 34 percent among eighth graders. At the same time,
perception among young people that drug use is dangerous and wrong has declined
Why is this happening? In part, because young people are bombarded with
mixed messages about drugs, whether it's through movies or music videos,
advertisements or peer pressure.
To help protect our children, we have developed an anti-drug program involving
the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Scholastic Inc. Your child's teachers
have received free classroom materials as part of this campaign.
But there's something for you as well.
We know that parents, grandparents, foster parents, older siblings, youth
leaders, coaches, and other role models can play a major role in protecting
young people from drugs. It's critical that all Americans work together
to send a clear and consistent message to our young people: Drugs are illegal,
dangerous and wrong!
This guide can help you send that message. It provides factual information
about the dangers of drug use as well as anti-drug activities that are designed
for families. We hope you will use it to help the young people in your life.
And if you'd like more information or additional free materials, please
call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 1-800-729-6686
or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD).
Working as one team, we can help all our children grow up healthy and drug-free.
Donna E. Shalala
Secretary of Health and Human Services