U.S. President George Bush is welcoming news that illegal drug use by American teens has decreased significantly since 2001.
A government-funded survey of teenagers, conducted by the University of Michigan, shows youth drug use has dropped by 25 percent in the past seven years. President Bush says the results show major progress.
"One way to note the progress is this statistic: Since 2001, teenage drug use has declined by 25 percent," he said. "That means 900,000 fewer teens on drugs."
Mr. Bush announced the figures at a White House meeting with people who work in drug prevention and law enforcement, as well as people who are recovering from drug problems.
One recovering addict at the meeting was Major League Baseball player Josh Hamilton, whose promising career had been derailed by his drug use until his comeback in 2007. Hamilton says constant media scrutiny helps him stay clean, but other recovering addicts do not have that advantage.
"I wanted to talk about that person who has that everyday job, goes to work, comes home, and that person is the one we have got to worry about," he said.
Hamilton says he has been drug free since 2005. This year, he led the American League in runs-batted-in and was named to the All-Star team, playing for the Texas Rangers, a team President Bush once owned. Both Hamilton and Mr. Bush credit their recoveries from addiction problems to their Christian faith.
Early in his presidency, Mr. Bush set a goal of reducing teen drug use by 25 percent by 2007. He says the keys to successful anti-drug policies are prevention, treatment and enforcement.