Myths about drugs and drug use are pervasive, and for young people, it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. Popular culture can make smoking appear commonplace. But the reality is that fewer teens than ever before are smoking cigarettes. In general, young adults tend to perceive their peers as exhibiting higher rates of drug use than what is actually occurring. Data from the 2017 Monitoring the Future study tells part of the promising story; past-year misuse of prescription opioids among 12th graders has dropped dramatically in the past 15 years, from nearly 10 percent in 2002 to 2 percent in 2017. And according to data from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 1 in 100 young adults between the ages of 12 and 17 currently misuse prescription opioids.
Parents and educators have an opportunity to use the latest data like these to challenge young people’s misconceptions and promote a culture of knowledge about drug use and its effects. It’s time to shatter these myths about drugs and alcohol to help teens make choices about their health based on the facts. Join Informed Families for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW), January 22-27, 2019, to help educate youth about the consequences of drug use on their brain, body and behavior.
What is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week?
Coordinated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NDAFW is a week-long health observance dedicated to providing youth with the science-based facts about how drugs and alcohol affect the brain, body, and behavior. During NDAFW, thousands of communities and schools hold events that give teens the opportunity to learn the scientific facts about drugs and alcohol, using NIDA’s free materials designed for teens. [INSERT YOUR ORGANIZATION’S NAME] encourages you to plan fun educational activities or events for youth in your community during NDAFW.
Here are a few activities ideas to get you started:
- Share NDAFW messages and images on social media (be sure to use the official hashtag #NDAFW).
- Post videos of youth sharing the facts about drugs and drug use on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Give students the IQ Challenge to test their knowledge on drugs and alcohol.
It’s easy to get involved! Simply register your event online to link up with more than 2,000 other NDAFW activities and events. If you need assistance or answers to questions, NIDA staff are available to help you plan a successful event. You can contact Brian Marquis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to check out teens.drugabuse.gov/ndafw to learn more.