NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Wear The Message"Wearing the message" is a super creative, fun, and simple way to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse within your school and community. Get creative and develop your own messages and images to put on a t-shirt. Or keep it simple and use NIDA's PEERx downloadable images to spread the word. However you choose to do it, make sure it's unique and includes the message.

Here's what you'll need:

  • T-shirts. Get some plain white or pale-colored t-shirts to use as your base.
  • Printer.
  • Inkjet iron-on transfer paper (available at your local craft or office supply store). Choose opaque transfer paper for dark-colored items and transparent transfer paper for light-colored items. Transparent transfer paper may help you avoid white outlines around your artwork. Always read the instructions that come with the transfer paper.
  • Iron. If you are using the downloadables, you will need to print your downloadable onto inkjet iron-on transfer paper so that you can easily transfer the image to your shirt.
  • Art supplies. If you plan on creating your own artwork or writing your own messages about prescription drug abuse on your shirt, you will need supplies such as fabric paint, glue, patches, glitter, or fabric markers. Get as creative as you want!
  • Designs. You can make your own designs, or use the downloadable designs.

Here's how to do it:

  • Ask your school's art department for extra plain t-shirts and other supplies to donate to help you create your t-shirts. If the art department is willing to help, make this a group activity. Set up a table during lunch or after school. Display the supplies and printed downloads from the PEERx Web site on a table so everyone can see them and feels invited to get involved. Entice your friends and classmates to join in on the fun and create a cool t-shirt with a message, a new image, or both about preventing prescription drug abuse.
  • If you are using the downloadables, you'll need to print your downloadable onto inkjet iron-on transfer paper. Use an inkjet printer to print your downloaded artwork onto the transfer paper. The downloadable artwork comes in two forms: a flipped (backward) mirror image of the design and a regular (non-flipped) image.
  • Once you print the image onto the paper, use an iron to transfer the image to the shirt. Have an adult supervise you.
  • Host a t-shirt campaign. Have everyone who makes a shirt wear it on the same day for a successful t-shirt campaign. This way, all of you will spread a very powerful drug prevention message. There is always power in numbers!

Send Us Feedback

Have you tried this activity in your school or community? Send us feedback by downloading our feedback form [Word - 212 kb], filling it out, saving it, and emailing it to