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12/11/2007 4:44 PM ET
National survey shows continued reductions in youth drug use
Steroids among positive stories of declining use
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NEW YORK -- The 2007 Monitoring the Future study (MTF) released today in Washington, D.C., reports promising trends with significant declines in the overall use of illicit drugs among teenagers in the past year, as well as a notable reduction in tobacco use among eighth graders. The decreases are the continuation of a larger downward trend for all measured age groups marking steady long‐term reductions in youth drug use over the past six years (2001‐2007).

One of the areas worth noting is the decline in steroid use among our nation's youth. Since 2001, there has been a statistically significant decrease of 33 percent among 8th, 10th and 12th graders who have reported past month use of steroids and a 45 percent decrease in past year use over the same period.

One factor contributing to these positive trends is the combined prevention education efforts of the Partnership for a Drug‐Free America (the Partnership) and Major League Baseball (MLB). Over the last decade, MLB and the Partnership have reached out to fans with educational messages aimed at inspiring American youth to live a healthy life while urging parents to talk to their kids about the risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and tobacco.

MLB has given these critical messages (distributed in both English and Spanish) the necessary platform to reach parents and teens by allocating $20 million of television, print, radio and online advertising to communicate these messages to a national audience.

With support from MLB, the Partnership has undertaken a significant amount of research aimed at understanding parents', teens' and athletic coaches' attitudes toward steroids and performance enhancing substances. This research showed that while most teens viewed steroid use as very risky, few parents are reinforcing those risks by talking to their kids about the dangers of steroids in the same way they do about other drugs. With this learning, an education program was created to inform parents, coaches and teen athletes about the severe health risks associated with the use of steroids.

"Major League Baseball has been an extraordinary partner to work with on educating parents and teens about the dangers associated with steroid use. I applaud them for putting the resources behind a comprehensive prevention and education effort that has clearly worked over time," said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership.

"Educating our youth and their parents about the dangers of steroids and performance‐enhancing substances plays an important role in fighting illegal drug use," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "I am very pleased to learn that our association with Partnership for a Drug‐Free America is showing positive results but we still have much to do."

For more information about steroid abuse and the collaboration between the Partnership for a Drug‐Free America and Major League baseball, please visit the web at: http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/Steroids/index.html

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