Beginning on Monday, January 25th addiction experts, scientists, community leaders and students all across the United States will turn the spotlight on the drugs and alcohol. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is designed to be a “health observance” week specifically for teenagers. It was first spearheaded by a group of concerned scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2010 to highlight and help counter the substance abuse epidemic that is taking young lives on a daily basis in this country.
The main reason National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week was launched is to ensure that everyone, teens in particular, will have access to accurate scientific information about drugs and alcohol and the inherent danger of abusing these substances. Through a series of educational programs, such as community and school events, NDAFW aims to stimulate interest and break the myths that teenagers are exposed to through the media.
The Events of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
During National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, from January 25 – 31, people are encouraged to participate, support and host a number of events in their schools and community centers.
At these events, addiction experts and scientists hope to educate participants about the true effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and physical body. They will answer questions about the real issues driving the drug and alcohol epidemic in the United States. Most importantly, these events are designed to highlight preventative measures that teenagers and others can take to abstain or prevent drug and alcohol abuse. Participants will learn about evidence-based treatment programs and new, innovative techniques and cutting-edge tools that are expanding study parameters for scientific research. These tools help to reduce addiction rates, accelerate recovery processes, and prevent or limit relapse episodes.
Hosting an Event
The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers an online toolkit with instructions and suggestions for individuals or groups who are interested in planning and hosting their own NDAFW event. The NIDA toolkit provides information such as:
- How to locate experts to participate at your event
- How to connect with NIDA staffers for additional information and help
- How to register to host an event,
- How to get free materials such as the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge quiz and the NIDA “Shatter The Myths” booklet.
Importance of NDAFW
Records show many teenagers are unaware of the inherent dangers and risks to their health and well-being when they use drugs and alcohol. The number of teens driving while drunk or under the influence of both prescription and illicit drugs has been increasing annually. As such, the mortality rate for car accidents with fatalities caused by people in this demographic continues to rise every year.
According to surveys and research studies, approximately one third of high school seniors report using either drugs or alcohol within the past year of the survey. At least five percent of these seniors also reported non-medical use of narcotic prescription pain pills, which have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Another 20% or more said they have used marijuana within the past month.
The NIDA, which sponsors this campaign, believes that when adolescents get the scientific facts about drugs and alcohol, these statistic will be lower. By providing them with accurate scientifically-based information, these young people can be more prepared to counter peer pressure and share this information with others, including their family and friends.
Sponsors of National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week
Many local, federal, and state officials are aligned with the goals of the NIDA and NIAAA, including partners such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Office of Safe and Healthy Students in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Drug Enforcement Administration in the U.S. Department of Justice.
If you want to share your story, make sure to use the hashtag #drugfacts. Visit NIDA for teens. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 301-443-1124 to find out more about National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. You can find more information about:
- Local and national events
- Drug and Alcohol Chat Day
- Partnership opportunities
- How to host an event
- Activity ideas for an event
- Materials and resources for an event
If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse and addiction, contact the professionals at White Sands Treatment Center today. We can help you find the drug treatment program that best suits your individual needs.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.