National Drug Facts Week, which brings together teens and scientific experts to shatter persistent myths about drug use and addiction, will be held Jan. 26 through Feb. 1, 2015. Ideas for community-based events, as well as success stories from previous years, are highlighted on the National Drug Facts Week Web portal.
“National Drug Facts Week has been growing every year, from 92 events at its inception almost five years ago,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. “This tells us how much teens — who are bombarded daily with misinformation about drugs — want science-based facts about drug use.”
National Drug Facts Week was launched in 2010 to counteract the myths that teens often hear from the Internet, TV, movies, music, or friends. One popular myth is that marijuana is harmless, although science tells us that marijuana use by teens may negatively affect brain development and impair school and athletic performance. Teen use of marijuana is up compared to five years ago, perhaps because fewer teens consider marijuana to be a harmful drug.
To help shatter the myths surrounding marijuana and other addictive substances, National Drug Facts Week encourages events that allow teens to ask questions of addiction scientists or health experts about drug use and addiction. Events can be sponsored by a variety of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs, and hospitals. Topics for discussion can include not only what science tells us about marijuana, but also about prescription drug abuse, and the use of tobacco and alcohol.
National Drug Facts Week is again 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 in the Department of Health and Human Services; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the U.S. Department of Justice; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (HUD). Each agency will post National Drug Facts Week information on its website and encourage the development of special events linking experts to teens.
“President Obama’s vision is for all of America’s children to grow up in healthy and safe communities,” said ONDCP Acting Director Michael Botticelli. “This administration’s drug policy is based on neuroscience, and we are committed to informing young people and health care professionals about the negative consequences drug and alcohol use can have on their futures.”
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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