National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) connects students with scientists along with other experts for the purpose of counteracting myths related to drugs and alcohol from the internet, television, movies, music and other people. It was started in 2010 by scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for stimulating educational events in communities so that teens can learn about the science of drug abuse and addiction. This year, it will be observed on the 25th to 31st of January, 2016.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism will be a partner starting this year’s observance and alcohol will be added as one of the main topics for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are actually part of the National Institutes of Health. There will be locally planned and hosted school and community activities that will focus on providing teens with scientific facts about drugs and alcohol. One example is the Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day which is an event that requires registration. During the annual event, participants are given the opportunity to ask questions about drugs, alcohol and drug abuse. It also covers how to help people who are abusing drugs, the causes of addiction and other essential facts.
Purpose of National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week
The main reason for creating the yearly event is to increase awareness of the risks of drug & alcohol abuse among teens. This is because many of them are not aware of its effects on their health, to their school performance and the dangers when driving under the influence. Experts believe that when teens are given the scientific facts about drugs and alcohol, they will be better prepared to make the right decisions for themselves and they can also share this vital information with other people.
Approximately one third of high school seniors reported the use of an illicit drug sometime in the last year. Also, about 5% of seniors reported the non-medical use of prescription pain relievers that are potentially addictive. More than 20% also reported marijuana use in the past month. This indicates that drug abuse usually starts during the teen years and this is the reason it is the perfect time to inform them of its dangers.
What You can do on National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week?
- Use social media to spreads awareness of National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week
- Talk to your family and friends about the dangers of drug/alcohol abuse and addiction
- Organize an activity in your school to help shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse
- Participate in NDAFW activities in your community
- Distribute educational materials regarding drugs and alcohol
- Contact your local newspapers, television stations and radio stations and ask them to make a public service announcement for National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week
- Order free NDAFW materials for distribution in your community
- Talk to your teachers about participating in the Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day as a class
Special Tips on National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week
Here are tips for preventing drug/alcohol prevention for the youth:
- Avoid Negative Peer Pressure – Pay special attention to who you hang out with. If ever you become a victim of negative peer pressure, do not be afraid to say no and make new friends.
- Seek Help – If you or someone you know is having trouble with alcohol or/and drugs, do not be afraid to get help. Do not wait which can worsen the problem.
- Take Control – You should take responsibility for your life and your actions. Speak up about the negative effects of alcohol and drugs and take the necessary steps to get rid of your problem if you have one.
- Connect with Your Parents or Other Adults – You need to be able to talk to people about life and its challenges. You can benefit a lot from the life experiences of others. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your parents, try other responsible adults like your neighbour, relatives and teachers.
- Get Educated About Alcohol and Drugs – You need to distinguish the myths from the facts in order to make the right decisions. Visit Learn About Alcohol and Learn About Drugs and share these websites with your friends.
This yearly observance presents the perfect opportunity to shatter the myths about drugs/alcohol and drug/alcohol abuse. We should all come together for a truthful conversation regarding drugs and alcohol and their effect on the body, brain and behavior. This annual event is for informing teens of the many dangers of alcohol and drug abuse so that they will be able to make the right decisions in the future.