NCFY Recommends: Give Teens Straight Talk About Addiction During National Drug Facts Week


Book cover of Drugs: Shatter the MythsMarijuana is addictive. Adults who are hooked on cigarettes most likely started smoking as teens. Getting drunk or high could lead a teen to have unprotected sex. These are just a few facts about drugs that teens may not know.

National Drug Facts Week, which will be observed this year from January 28 to February 3, is an opportunity for youth workers to share with teens the truth about drugs and their consequences. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, sponsors the weeklong campaign each year to shatter common myths so teens can make informed decisions. Here are some ways you and your youth can participate:

Chat with NIDA scientists. Drug Facts Chat Day, to be held this year on January 31, is a chance for youth to ask questions of the nation's top experts in the field of drug abuse and addiction. If you and your youth want to ask questions, you’ll need to register in advance. Just make sure to enter your agency’s name where it asks for the participating school name. The live feed and transcript will be made available to everyone online.

Test young people’s knowledge about drugs’ dangers. Invite youth to take the National Drug IQ Challenge. (You might want to take it along with them!)

Share the facts. NIDA’s “Drugs: Shatter the Myths” includes youth-friendly discussions of the ways tobacco, prescription drugs, marijuana and alcohol affect the human body. There’s also information about peer pressure, drugs in songs and movies and the help available for people with drug or drinking problems. Youth can also visit the NIDA for Teens website, which showcases the science behind drug use. The site includes fact sheets, interactive videos and educational games.

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