* WINNER: The war on drugs. For the first time since it began in 1975, a government-sponsored survey shows that fewer than half of high school seniors admit to having used illegal drugs. The figure of acknowledged drug users is 47.9 per cent, down three points from the Class of 1989.

LOSER: The war on drugs. That figure on drug users is still far too high. Besides, the survey polled only seniors and graduates, missing 15 percent to 20 percent of high school dropouts. Drug use is considered high among dropouts.LOSERS: Western water users. The U.S. Soil Conservation Service reports that stream flows are expected to be less than 70 percent of normal in all or parts of eight states: All of California and Nevada, central Utah, south-central Idaho, northwestern Colorado, southern and eastern Oregon, eastern Wyoming, and central Arizona.

* WINNERS: Picky eaters - and their worried parents. A new study of preschoolers concludes that no matter how birdlike their appetites, children don't need food forced on them. Left to their own devices, they eat enough. In some ways, the fussy young eaters are wiser than many adults, for whom plenty of food is a passport to obesity.

* WINNER: The aviation industry. The National Transportation Safety Board reported this week that aviation accidents declined in all categories last year. That should make plenty of people feel better about flying - after the war in the Persian Gulf is over, of course.