ONDCP Seal
PolicyPolicy
III. Goals, Objectives, Targets, andPerformance Measures of Effectiveness
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Goals, Objectives, and Targets

Goal 1: Educate and enable America's youth to reject illegal drugs as well as alcohol and tobacco.

The Strategy focuses on youth for both moral and practical reasons. Children must be nurtured and protected from drug use and other forms of risky behavior to ensure that they grow up as healthy, productive members of society. As youngsters grow, they assimilate what they observe.

Drug use is preventable. If children reach adulthood without using illegal drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, they are unlikely to develop a chemical-dependency problem. To this end, the Strategy fosters initiatives to educate children about the real dangers associated with drugs. ONDCP seeks to involve parents, coaches, mentors, teachers, clergy, and other role models in a broad prevention campaign. ONDCP encourages businesses, communities, schools, the entertainment industry, universities, and sports organizations to join these national anti-drug efforts.

Researchers have identified important factors that place youth at risk for drug abuse or protect them against such behavior. Risk factors are associated with greater potential for drug use while protective factors reduce the potential for use. Risk factors include a chaotic home environment, ineffective parenting, anti-social behavior, drug-using peers, general approval of drug use, and the misperception that the overwhelming majority of one's peers are substance abusers. Protective factors include parental involvement; success in school; strong bonds with family, school, and religious organizations; knowledge of dangers posed by drug use; and the recognition by young people that substance abuse by their peers is abnormal behavior, not the common-place, socially acceptable activity they are led to believe.

Objective 1: Educate parents or other care givers, teachers, coaches, clergy, health professionals, and business and community leaders to help youth reject illegal drugs and underage alcohol and tobacco use.

Rationale: Values, attitudes, and behavior are forged by families and communities. Alcohol, tobacco, and drug-prevention for young people is most successful when parents and other concerned adults areinvolved. Information and resources must be provided to adults who serve as role models for children so that young people will learn about the consequences of drug abuse.

Objective 2: Pursue a vigorous advertising and public communications program dealing with the dangers of illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use by youth.

Rationale: Anti-drug messages conveyed through multiple outlets have proven effective in increasing knowledge and changing attitudes about drugs. Anti-drug publicity on the part of the private sector and non-profit organizations must be reinforced by a federally funded, science- and research-based campaign to change young people's attitudes about illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

Objective 3: Promote zero tolerance policies for youth regarding the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco within the family, school, workplace, and community.

Rationale: Children are less likely to use illegal drugs or illicit substances if such activity is discouraged throughout society. Prevention programs in schools, workplaces, and communities have already demonstrated effectiveness in reducing drug use. Such success must be increased by concerted efforts that involve multiple sectors of the community.

Objective 4: Provide students in grades K-12 with alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention programs and policies that are research based.

Rationale: The federal government is uniquely equipped to help state and local governments and communities gather and disseminate information on successful approaches to the problem of drug abuse.

Objective 5: Support parents and adult mentors in encouraging youth to engage in positive, healthy lifestyles and modeling behavior to be emulated by young people.

Rationale: Children listen most to adults they know and love. Providing parents with resources to help children refrain from using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is a wise investment. Mentoring programs also create bonds of respect between youngsters and adults, which can help young people resist drugs.

Objective 6: Encourage and assist the development of community coalitions and programs in preventing drug abuse and underage alcohol and tobacco use.

Rationale: Communities are logical places to form public-private coalitions that can influence young people's attitudes toward drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Thousands of groups around the country have already established broad community-based anti-drug efforts.

Objective 7: Create partnerships with the media, entertainment industry, and professional sports organizations to avoid the glamorization, condoning, or normalization of illegal drugs and the use of alcohol and tobacco by youth.

Rationale: Discouraging drug abuse depends on factual anti-drug messages being delivered consistently throughout our society. Celebrities who are positive role models can convey accurate information about the benefits of staying drug-free.

Objective 8: Develop and implement a set of research-based principles upon which prevention programming can be based.

Rationale: Drug prevention must be research-based. Prevention programs must take into account the evolving drug situation, risk factors for students, and specific community problems.

Objective 9: Support and highlight research, including the development of scientific information, to inform drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention programs targeting young Americans.

Rationale: Reliable prevention must be based on programs that have been proven effective. We must influence youth attitudes and actions in positive ways and share successful approaches with other organizations.

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1999 National Drug Control Strategy Office of National Drug Control Policy