The White House

Office of the National Drug Control Policy

Statement from White House Drug Policy Director Kerlikowske on National Institutes of Health Study Regarding Effectiveness of National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Study Concludes Youth Exposed to ONDCP’s “National Youth Anti Drug Media Campaign’s Above the Influence Effort Less Likely to Use Marijuana Compared to Those Who are Not

Louisville, Kentucky – Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, released the following statement regarding the publication of an independent, scientific analysis of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) “Above the Influence” (ATI) National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign:

“This study confirms that the National Youth Anti-Drug Media campaign is effective, relevant to youth, and a vital tool in supporting drug prevention efforts of communities across the country. With youth drug use on the rise, it is imperative that a campaign like Above the Influence – one that is effectively reaching and resonating with youth in communities – receive the funding it needs to keep our young people safe, healthy, and drug-free. Drug use negatively affects almost every aspect of our society. If we are to meet President Obama’s challenge of out-competing and out-educating the rest of the world, we simply cannot afford to let up on vital education programs, like the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which effectively protect our next generation of young people from slipping into a lifetime of drug addiction, poor school performance, negative social behaviors, or worse.”

The study, published in January’s issue of the peer-reviewed journal Prevention Science, shows that youth across 20 communities in the U.S. who are exposed to the “Above the Influence” campaign are less likely to use marijuana, compared to those not exposed to the campaign. This finding is consistent with the Campaign’s own year-round Youth Ad Tracking Survey results, which has demonstrated over the same time period that teens who said they were exposed to the campaign hold stronger anti-drug beliefs than those teens who were not exposed. Stronger anti-drug beliefs are known to predict lower actual drug use behaviors.

The analysis also suggests the effects of this national-level campaign could be measurably increased through the use of in-school and community efforts mirroring the “Above the Influence” brand. The independent scientific analysis entitled Assessing Media Campaigns Linking Marijuana Non-Use with Autonomy and Aspirations: “Be Under Your Own Influence” and ONDCP’s “Above the Influence” was funded through a grant by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a research component of the National Institutes of Health.

ONDCP has redesigned the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to include a broader focus on substances most often abused by teens and a renewed emphasis on partnering with communities to reach at-risk youth populations in rural, suburban, and urban communities.

To read the news release from Ohio State University click here.

An abstract of the study can be found here.