Sep 13

NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week 2015 to Begin January 26

The next National Drug Facts Week will be held from Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2015, aiming to shatter myths about drug use and addiction by bringing together teens and scientific experts. The initiative is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

First launched in 2010, National Drug Facts week encourages events that allow teens to ask questions about drug use and addiction substances and have them answered by addiction scientists or health experts. Events can be sponsored by a number of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs and hospitals.

National Drug Facts Week hopes to dispel myths about drugs that teens often hear on TV, in movies, music, on the Internet or from friends. Topics for discussion can include not only what science tells us about marijuana – that use by teens can negatively impact brain development and impair school and athletic performance – but about what science tells us about use of prescription drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

“National Drug Facts Week has been growing every year,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow. “This tells us how much teens – who are bombarded daily with misinformation about drugs – want science-based facts about drug use.”

In addition, NIDA has an online toolkit showing teens and adults on how to create an event, publicize it, find an expert and obtain scientific information about drugs. This year, NIDA merged the National Drug Facts Week website with the NIDA for Teens website, which can be found here. This will allow easier browsing between event planning tools and drug fact sheets, designed with teen-friendly language and graphics. Those who register online will receive free booklets with science-based facts about drugs, including Drugs: Shatter the Myths.

This year, NIDA will offer three interactive tools that can be projected on screens at events or used on mobile devices:

  •     The online 2015 National Drug IQ Challenge is a 12-question multiple choice quiz that teens and adults can take to test their knowledge about drugs. Past-year challenges can be found here. The 2015 challenge will be posted when it is available.
  •     Choose Your Path interactive videos encourage students to make decisions about the abuse of prescription drugs using scenarios from their everyday lives.
  •     The interactive version of the popular poster Drugs + Your Body: It Isn’t Pretty highlights the effects drugs have on the teen body. It was created in partnership with Scholastic.

National Drug Facts Week is supported by the White House Office of National Control Policy, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Office of Safe and Healthy Students in the U.S. Department of Education, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Each agency will post information regarding the event on its website.

NIDA scientists will hold their annual web chat with teens around the country that week. Drug Facts Chat Day will be held on Jan. 30 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Click here for more details about the chat, plus registration information and transcripts from previous years.

Organizations with questions about National Drug Facts Week can e-mail NIDA at drugfacts@nida.nih.gov. Event organizers can register events starting today by clicking here.