Jan. 23-27 is NIDA’s Annual National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

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Jan. 23-27 is NIDA’s Annual National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

This week is the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) 7th annual National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. According to the the website, the goal of this week is to connect students with scientists and other experts in effort to dispel the common myths surrounding drugs and alcohol. This includes false information that teenagers receive from the Internet, media, television, movies, and peers.

The annual event was first launched in 2010 by scientists at NIDA to elicit educational events in communities so that teenagers can learn scientific facts about drug use and addiction. In 2016, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) also became a partner, and alcohol was also added as topic into the week’s curriculum.

Events are locally planned and hosted by schools and communities, and focus on educating teens on the science behind drugs and alcohol use.

On January 26, NIDA is offering an online chat with scientists for high school students around the nation. They are free to ask any and all questions about substance use, including the effects of drugs and alcohol and the causes of addiction.

This interactive map allows you to find events being offered in your area.

Facts About Teens and Substance Abuse

According to DoSomething.org:

  • More teens die from prescription drugs than heroin/cocaine combined.
  • The United States represents 5% of the world’s population and 75% of prescription drugs used. Sixty-percent of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them free from friends and relatives.
  • By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana.
  • Teens who consistently learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t.
  • About 50% of high school seniors do not think it’s harmful to try crack or cocaine once or twice, and 40% believe it’s not harmful to use heroin once or twice.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A, Psychology

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