By: Brian Marquis, Public Liaison Officer, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Many teens are not aware of the serious risks drugs and alcohol poses to their health, to their success in school, and to their future.
So the question is: What can communities do to effectively educate this generation of teens about drug abuse?
One way is for school staff, parents, and students to work together on awareness events that will provide teens with the facts about drug use. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) is a national health observance designed to arm communities with the materials and tools they need to influence teens to say no to drugs.
Inspired by the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA), part of the National Institute of Health, NDAFW is in its seventh year and will be held from January 23 through 29, 2017.
“This week is designed to counteract the myths teens have about drug abuse, often reinforced by their peers, the Internet, and the entertainment industry,” said NIDA Director, Nora D. Volkow, M.D. “When given the facts from people they trust, teens are in a better position to make good decisions about drug use.”
All around the country, science teachers, health teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, drug prevention programs, and community support programs are using the science-based information available FREE from NIDA in their curriculum, school assemblies, PTA meetings, and evening workshops to get the truth out. In some cases, local research scientists and government officials can be invited to participate in these important events.
This year, NDAFW is expecting more than 2,000 events with every state represented and a handful of international sites with registered events. These events range in size and scope, but they are all focused on educating and communicating with teens about drug and alcohol use and its consequences. NIDA staff can provide ideas and information to help make an educational event successful.
Some event ideas may include:
• A school assembly
• An addiction-themed art contest
• A graffiti fact wall
• A trivia night
• A panel discussion with local law enforcement, substance abuse counselors, and individuals affected by drug abuse.
• A government proclamation.
For additional information, visit the National Drug & Alcohol Facts website or email NIDA at [email protected]