Monday, March 30 to Sunday, April 5, 2020
This year is the 10th anniversary of the annual National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW). This is a week-long event designed to Shatter The Myths® by providing education to teens about drug and alcohol use.
This vital event provides teenagers with clear scientific facts surrounding this important topic, allowing them to make informed choices.
Why does the National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week matter?
We recently explored the truth about vaping and the fact that 1080 lung injury cases have been reported, proving vaping is not a safe alternative to cigarettes as many previously stated. That’s just one of the many drugs that have been misrepresented as safe to teens.
What is National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW)?
Teens are fed a constant stream of data from the internet, social media, music, television and friends that give conflicting advice about alcohol and drug use. To make matters worse, many movies and musicians portray alcohol and drug use as glamorous.
NDAFW is designed to provide scientific facts from medical experts and healthcare professionals to counteract the barrage of contradictory information fed to teens about drugs and alcohol.
The NDAFW was launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to help stimulate events in local communities for teens to learn the latest science surrounding drug and alcohol use and addiction.
In 2016 the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) partnered with NIDA to promote the event. Independent events are held throughout the United States, connecting teens with scientists and experts.
In 2019 we saw thousands of NDAFW events held all around the US, the locations can be view on the NIDA interactive map here.
Who Can Hold a National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week Event?
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week events are planned and hosted in local communities throughout the U.S. Schools and community organizations are encouraged to hold an event to provide local youth with information surrounding drug and alcohol use.
To register and host one or multiple official NDAFW event(s) organizations are required to complete the online application form.
If you’d like to get involved unofficially you can join in by sharing your experience and using the hashtag #NDAFW. This hashtag can also be used to search social media live, as the event progresses.
NDAFW Event Activities
Everything offered by the NDAFW is geared towards providing fun, interactive ways to illustrate the facts about drugs and alcohol.
NIDA does a fantastic job of creating content that is accessible to teens and in formats that will make sense to them, rather than the old school dogmatic approach.
Resources are provided in both Spanish and English that allow teens to access accurate scientific information surrounding drug and alcohol use.
During NDAFW, Schools and Organizations Can Participate by:
- Holding art contests
- Starting class discussions
- Accessing information from experts at the NIDA
- Sharing drug facts in morning announcements
- Taking part in interactive learning
- Using the interactive tools on the NDAFW website
Other interactive online resources include a short National Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge, that anyone can take online.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week Raises Awareness
NIDA has a wealth of helpful information to offer, and Drug & Alcohol Facts Week provides an opportunity to present it to those that need it most.
As awareness of youth drug and alcohol use is heightened in communities, parents can take the initiative to visit the NIDA website and find lifesaving information on topics like Positive Parenting to Prevent Drug Abuse and Preventing Teen Drug Use: How To Talk With Your Teen. This is essential information that parents might not access if not for the awareness raised by NDAFW.
Reading statements such as the following on the NIDA website helps parents understand how critical they are to their teen’s healthy development into adulthood:
“Parents, you are the biggest influence in your teen’s life. Kids who say they learn a lot about the risks of drugs at home are significantly less likely to use drugs.”
There are also lots of inspirational stories in the Stories of Hope section of the NIDA website, including stories of recovery, loss due to drugs or alcohol, and the real-life effects of taking drugs.
It’s not just the drug user that is affected when they use drugs, because the entire family also suffers.
Learning these facts from real-life stories could make a massive difference in a teenager’s life.
Getting Involved In National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week
If your local school or community center is holding a National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week event you can volunteer to help.
Alternatively, you could hold an event of your own in your local community. If you want to get involved in a local NDAFW event, NIDA has an interactive map that shows all of the official registered NDAFW events throughout the United States.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week is a critical event as people often get into drugs as teenagers, which can ruin their chances of living a full and healthy life.
Events like NDAFW can save lives by allowing teens to choose a life path of sobriety. If the only information that they get about drugs and alcohol is from their peers and social media, then they could be more susceptible to becoming addicted early.
Help teens make healthy choices by getting involved with NDAFW this year.
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