Observance provides teens with information on the science about drug abuse

Health newsHealth & Medical News › New dates. National Drug Facts Week begins Jan. 28, 2013

Story Photo: New dates. National Drug Facts Week begins Jan. 28, 2013
New dates. National Drug Facts Week begins Jan. 28, 2013

The third annual National Drug Facts Week will be held Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, 2013, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today. This week-long observance will bring together teens and scientific experts in community events across the country to discuss scientific facts about drug abuse. National Drug Facts Week is a NIDA initiative.

National Drug Facts Week encourages community-based events where teens ask questions of addiction scientists or educators familiar with NIDA's scientific materials. Events can be sponsored by a variety of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs, book clubs, and local hospitals.

With events often held at schools, the observance has been moved to late January to give teachers and counselors more time to plan drug information activities.

"This week is designed to counteract the myths teens have about drug abuse, often reinforced by their peers, the Internet, and the entertainment industry," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "When given the facts from people they trust, teens are in a better position to make good decisions about drug use."

NIDA provides an online toolkit that advises teens and their sponsoring organizations on to how create an event, publicize it, find an expert, and obtain scientific information on drugs. NIDA will support event holders by offering its popular teen booklet, Drugs: Shatter the Myths, free of charge as well as a new online National Drug IQ Challenge, a 10-question multiple choice quiz that teens and adults can take to test their knowledge about drugs.

National Drug Facts Week is being supported by many federal agencies, including the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at NIH; the Office of Safe and Healthy Students in the U.S. Department of Education; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the U.S. Department of Justice. Each agency will post National Drug Facts Week information on its website and will encourage the development of special events linking experts to teens.

"America’s success in the 21st century depends on our ability to educate our children and help them make decisions that will keep them healthy and safe," said ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske. "This administration is committed to using science to educate young people and inform policy in order to help raise a new generation of healthy and safe young people."
The Office of Safe and Healthy Students in the Department of Education will reach out to schools across America to encourage activities during National Drug Facts Week. "In too many cases youth don't understand the harm caused by illicit drugs or misuse of prescription medications," said David Esquith, director of the Office of Safe and Healthy Students. "They want and need accurate and clear information. That's what National Drug Facts Week is all about."

DEA will again share in efforts to promote the week. "Asking questions and getting honest answers are essential to making good choices, particularly when it comes to drug use, " said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “National Drug Facts Week is a great opportunity for teens and young adults to learn the facts and develop healthy habits they will keep for the rest of their lives."

Also during National Drug Facts Week, NIDA scientists will hold their annual Web chat with teens around the country. Drug Facts Chat Day will be held Jan. 31st from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Schools can register by going to http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/chat. Registration is offered on a first come first serve basis, and the website offers information on the popular annual chat.

Organizations wishing to hold events during National Drug Facts Week can now register at: http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov or email: drugfacts@nida.nih.gov. Organizations that register can receive free teen booklets and other advice and information about holding successful events.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA 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. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA's DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at http://drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA’s media guide can be found at http://drugabuse.gov/mediaguide/, and its new easy-to-read website can be found at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov.

Source: NIH Release News

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