Anti Drug Abuse Messages Becoming More Scarce

By Staff Writer

As the number of adolescents and young adults who use drugs goes up, an increasing number are requiring substance abuse help. A new survey has found that a lack of exposure to effective anti-drug messages may play a role in the climbing rates of drug abuse.

Researchers from the University of Michigan recently released their annual Monitoring the Future Study. The survey of more than 46,000 eighth, ninth and 10th grades found that exposure to drug abuse prevention messages in the media has declined dramatically in the last seven years.

In 2003, when anti-drug messages from the Office of National Drug Control Policy peaked, 54 percent of eighth graders reported daily exposure to these types of advertisements. Today, just 18 percent said they were regularly exposed to drug abuse prevention messages. Similar declines were noted among ninth and 10th graders.

The researchers said that state- and federal-level financial support for drug prevention programs has dwindled in recent years, and that this may be the main cause of the lack of effective anti-drug informational campaigns.