NIH Scientists and Teens Join Forces for 2019 National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week®

National Health Observance Week Helps SHATTER THE MYTHS® about Drug and Alcohol Misuse

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Teens and scientists will connect for the ninth annual National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) held Jan. 22-27, 2019. This week-long observance gives young people the facts about how drugs and alcohol can affect them, both in the short-term and over their lifetime. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will be joined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to coordinate the effort.

To view the Digital Media Release, click here.  

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® is designed to educate youth about drugs and alcohol and dispel the many myths regarding these substances," said NIDA Deputy Director Dr. Wilson Compton. "By giving teens scientific facts and answering their questions, we're equipping them to make smart decisions."

More than 2,100 NDAFW events were held across the country and internationally last year. An interactive map includes brief descriptions of each local event. Event holders are provided with several drug-specific online toolkits on how to create an event, publicize it, find an expert, and obtain scientific information on drugs. NIDA will also host its annual National Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day where hundreds of high school students participate in a live online chat with NIH scientists on drug and alcohol use. The chat can be followed online.

Questions from past Chat Days include:

  • Are e-cigarettes healthier than regular cigarettes?
  • Is marijuana really addictive?
  • Are over-the-counter drugs as dangerous as illegal drugs?
  • How does alcohol affect the brain?

Online resources, including the popular National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge, will be interactive and accessible on mobile devices, with videos of scientists answering the IQ Challenge questions to better illustrate the science behind the answers. Taking the quiz can help teens better understand the potential risks and side effects of drug use. By giving teens the scientific facts about drugs, they can be better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. This is especially important now, given that marijuana and e-cigarettes are more popular than regular tobacco cigarettes among teens, as found in NIDA's recent Monitoring the Future survey.

NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. NIDA's media guide can be found at http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/dear-journalist.

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SOURCE National Institute on Drug Abuse

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