Launched in 2010 by scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week seeks to counteract the kinds of misinformation teens and young adults may get from the internet, social media, and society in general. The point of the week is to connect teens and communities with scientists who can give up-to-date and accurate information about the effects of drugs and alcohol.
The event, hosted by the NIDA and co-sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, engages universities, public and private schools, religious organizations, and communities in providing teens and young adults with accurate information about drugs and alcohol. The program is also designed to attempt to reduce the number of teens and young adults who try or continue using drugs or alcohol.
At community events, participants take part in different activities that challenge common understandings and myths regarding drug and alcohol use. This includes the impact of drug use on individuals as well as the kinds of drugs that are available. The program publishes a booklet titled Shatter the Myths that discusses drugs such as marijuana and prescription drugs and points out the medical impact of using those drugs. For teens and young adults, the information regarding the impact of drug use is provided, using scientifically backed information that describes what happens to the brain on specific kinds of drugs.
Perhaps most importantly, even though the goal of the program is to prevent teens and young adults from beginning to take drugs or alcohol, the program also provides encouragement for students who struggle with substance abuse. The booklet provides information about the importance and the successfulness of getting early and adequate treatment for substance abuse issues. The booklet also gives tips to families and friends on how to approach individuals struggling with substance abuse.
To host an event in your school or community, visit https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week for more information.