NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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NIDA Listens to Teens

Sara Bellum
May 25, 2010

Meet the NIDA Teen Advisory Group. This is a group of real teens who help NIDA craft messages, programs, and materials for other teens. Have you downloaded any of our t-shirt designs, commented on this blog, or watched our videos? These features—and the entire NIDA for Teens Web site—were all influenced by real teens.

We at NIDA believe that the best way to learn how to talk to teenagers is to actually talk with real teens. This is why teens were full design partners when NIDA first launched the NIDA for Teens Web site back in 2003. And today, the NIDA Teen Advisory Group meets over the Internet once a month to tell us what they like—and don’t like—about new stuff we’re creating for you. Members of the Teen Advisory Group are from all over the United States, from California to Maine. They get a sneak peek at NIDA’s ideas for new ways to share the truth about drugs. Whether it’s a person in a video, the color of a download, or a single word—the Teen Advisory Group is not shy to say they love it or hate it. They’re brutally honest, and we like that.

“It is a great feeling when you know your opinions are actually wanted and respected,” said Ashlyn, 15, a member of the Teen Advisory Group from Maryland. “NIDA isn’t just saying ‘Drugs are bad, don’t do drugs!’ They have real scientific proof. They are explaining to people my age and everyone how drugs affect you, how to avoid illicit drug use and abuse, and more.”

Right now, membership into the Teen Advisory Group is full, but we also have an online workgroup that often provides feedback on materials via email. Please let us know if you are interested in joining the online workgroup by contacting us, and leave a reply below to let us know how you think we’re doing.

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