Campaign Aims to Reduce Drug Use Among Kids

Campaign Aims to Reduce Drug Use Among Kids

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News Specialist Sandra Yi reporting A new public service campaign is aiming to reduce drug use among kids through community involvement. The new campaign shows people that 'you get more when you get together'.

"What do you get when you combine a banker and a ball player?", asks the narrator on the public serice announcement, "A big hit for your community."

The Office of National Drug Control Policy hopes public service announcements like these, will show how powerful community coalitions can be for its youth.

It recently launched a campaign to help reduce drug use among kids.

Mary Ann Solberg/Deputy Director, ONDCP: "We would like to decrease drug use by 10% in two years and 25% in five years. We know that every community in America has to address this problem if we're going to reach our goal."

Statistics show - 94 million Americans 12 and older say they used an illicit drug in their lifetime.

In Utah - nearly one in 15 kids between 12 and 17 years old - say they used marijuana in the past month.

Local advocates say the number of kids here using drugs and alcohol is alarming even though it's below the national average. And although fewer kids are experimenting, they say those that are using are using more.

Lynne Durrant/Neighborhood Action Coalition: "We are also seeing kids starting to use the club drugs. We're seeing them with methamphetamine."

Durant is the director of the Neighborhood Action Coalition, which mobilizes communities in Salt Lake County and helps them come up with solutions to local problems.

This youth advisory board, made up of junior high students, is part of the coalition. They mentor young kids and work on anti drug campaigns.

Lynne Durrant/Neighborhood Action Coalition: "Originally in prevention, we worked with kids, then we worked with schools, then we worked with families. That doesn't work. You need to bring everybody together, the kids live in a community, so get everybody together so everywhere you go there's an anti drug message."

Durant hopes that communities will get involved and target the kids that need help the most.

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