In November 2010, NIDA held its first-ever National Drug Facts Week (NDFW), where people around the U.S. worked with friends, family, and neighbors to plan events to dispel the myths and discuss the facts about drug abuse.
People got really creative with their events. The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America held a game show called “Think Fast” at its National Leadership Forum.
NDFW was so successful last year that NIDA has planned another: this year’s NDFW will be the week of October 31-November 6!
So, now, we want to know: Will you be participating in this year’s NDFW? Are you planning an event? What type of event would you like to attend?
To answer the questions, you can either write your response in the “Leave a Reply” box below, or send us a message. We read all of your comments and feedback.
Don’t forget that you can respond to questions we’ve asked before. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!
…Which is a pretty powerful thing, when you think about it.
At Mentor Foundation USA, we encourage teens to use their voices.
This is why, every year, we join forces with NIDA during National Drug Facts Week (NDFW) to host National Drug Facts Day. At this special event, we invite youth to engage with top U.S. scientists and guests to shatter the myths about drugs and substance abuse. We give youth the opportunity to ask all of their questions about substance abuse, openly and without fear of judgment, and get answers from experts in the field.
Special guests also speak about their experiences. Last year, R&B singer Mario Barrett spoke about his struggles growing up with a mother who had a heroin addiction. This year, Dr. Lonise Bias joins us to speak about the loss of her son Len Bias, who died of an overdose just after being drafted into the NBA.
Throughout NDFW and National Drug Facts Day, the focus is on teens like you! We want to ensure that participants go away with enough knowledge to feel empowered to make responsible choices. This is why YOUR voice matters! We believe that if you have good information, you have the power to make healthy decisions.
National Drug Facts Day is just one of many events being held nationwide for National Drug Facts Week. Find and participate in an event near you.
Michaela Pratt is the Marketing & Project Manager for Mentor Foundation USA, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce risk factors and increase opportunities for youth. Through its programming, the organization works with the business community and other organizations to connect youth with the professional world. Structured mentoring programs, 1-day career opportunities, and community workshops help to motivate youth toward higher achievement and healthy lifestyles.
What do you want first, the good news or the bad news? Whenever a conversation starts this way, you know things are going to get interesting.
Check out this video clip where Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA's Director, talks face-to-face with 100 teens at Harlem High School in New York about drug abuse. See what she says when someone asks her about Internet addiction. She is really open and honest, explaining both the good and the bad about taking risks. View the video to the right and feel free to share it with your friends.
- Social networks
- TV ads
- Web sites
National Drug Facts Week (NDFW) is a 5-day event that features teen-led activities, a cool contest sponsored by the Grammy Awards, and chats to shatter the myths around drug abuse and addiction. SBB and NIDA want you to help us spread the word through school and community events, both online and in person. Read on… NDFW kicks off on Monday, November 8, with the Sara Bellum CyberShoutout. We’ll be blogging here on the SBB and adding updates from you throughout the day. We need your support to make this good. Could you maybe:
- Post a comment here on the Sara Bellum blog?
- Write a new post for your own blog?
- Post our new NDFW Web badge on your blog.
- Upload event pictures to Flickr?
- Post drug facts that we give you to your Facebook and/or Twitter account, or wherever you share updates and issues with friends and family?
Note: If you plan to blog or post something to your Facebook page for the CyberShoutout, let us know in the comments. If you’ll be tweeting, don’t forget to use the hashtag #drugfacts2010 so we can update Sara Bellum throughout that day with your ideas and thoughts. We hope you’ll take part in this CyberShoutout event – together, we can separate fact from fiction when it comes to drug abuse and addiction! Here are some facts to get you started:
- The chances of becoming addicted to marijuana or any drug differ for everyone. For weed, that's about 1 in 11 people. Learn more.
- In 2006, prescription pain medications were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. Learn more.
- Drugs reset brain’s pleasure meter, making you feel hopeless & sad w/out drugs 'til normal fun stops making you happy. Learn more.
Get in on the action! Teens across the nation will be participating in NDFW through activities, participating in Drug Facts Chat Day, and leading events in their communities. How loud can you shout? Remember, no matter how or where you speak out, add the hashtag #drugfacts2010.
Today marks NIDA’s fourth annual Drug Facts Chat Day! Beginning in 2007, NIDA scientists teamed up with a few high schools to create an online forum for teens to ask questions about drug abuse and the science behind addiction. This year, Chat Day is taking place during the first annual National Drug Facts Week, November 8–14—a whole week dedicated to shattering the myths about drugs and addiction. You can participate. Read on:
How to Get in on Chat Day
- Check to see if your school has preregistered for Chat Day. If your school has registered, you will be given an access code to log into the chat. Since Chat Day takes place completely online, anyone at a registered school can participate from any computer! The chat begins at 8 a.m. EST on November 9th and will stay open until 6 p.m. EST—there’s plenty of time to join in!
- Think of what you’d like to ask. NIDA scientists will be ready and waiting to answer your questions. Type a question about drug abuse or addiction into the chat box and a NIDA expert will be on hand in real time to answer it. If your question isn’t answered right then and there, it will be addressed after Chat Day is over and included as part of a transcript on our website. Here’s the one from last year. We might even post your question and our answer here on the SBB.
- Spread the word! Tell your friends and teachers to get involved with Chat Day and National Drug Facts Week. The more people who participate, the more myths can be shattered!
Hello, my name is Christian and I was the graphic designer for NIDA’s new Drug Facts: Shatter the Myths booklet. The goal for me was to create something visually that teens would enjoy reading, rather than being made to read. Teens are very savvy when it comes to messages, so we wanted to present the information in a way that was easy to understand and interesting to look at. I was lucky enough to go to a high school with a team from NIDA to get students’ feedback on our work. It was really valuable, and a lot of their ideas made it into the final design. We learned some key things like:
- Teens didn't like preachy messages, they wanted facts.
- They liked photos of teens outside school, not in school, in situations that they could relate to.
- They cared about design and told us what worked and what didn’t work for them.
- Several commented that they didn’t like being talked down to, or being imitated (“you’re trying too hard”) by the use of texting shorthand in the booklet. KWIM?
All of the responses we received, positive and negative, helped to make the booklet better. Connecting with teens was vital in creating the piece, and we hope it helps keep you informed.
Christian Cabrera, age 34, is an art director at MFM Design and helped design the Drug Facts: Shatter the Myths booklet with NIDA. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Arts and Design.
Tell us what you think about the Drug Facts: Shatter The Myths booklet in the comments.
Today is the official start of National Drug Facts Week! All over the country, teens are coming together with scientists, parents, teachers, and community organizations to learn the facts about drugs and addiction.
In Philadelphia, Women in Forensic Science is holding an event about the link between drugs and crime. In Laramie, Wyoming, students at Wyoming Indian High School plan to take part in a chat with an addiction expert, then travel 4 hours to the Wind River Indian Reservation where they will explore the consequences of drug use by writing or drawing on a canvas tipis about what they would miss out on if they were using drugs.
You can get involved in a matter of minutes, online! Give us a shoutout here on this blog or in your own blog, or on Twitter or Facebook. Shatter the myths out there about and shout it out about drugs and addiction! Tag your shoutout so we can find it, and check this blog throughout the day for a showcase of your shoutouts. See http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/cyberShoutout.php for more information and sample facts to post!
BLOGS SHOUTING OUT:
"Giving teens accurate scientific information they understand will empower them to think critically about drug use and its consequences; enabling them to make smart, healthy, and responsible decisions."
"As we all know, there is a growing awareness that military personnel, veterans and their families need help confronting a variety of war related problems, including substance abuse. Tobacco use, for example, is about 50 percent higher among the Nation’s active duty military personnel and veterans than in the civilian population."
"Mark your calendars! Next week is National Drug Facts Week (NDFW), a week-long health observance week held by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for teens that aims to shatter the myths about drug and alcohol abuse."
"This week is National Drug Facts Week, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As someone who has spent a long time working with teens and substance use and abuse, I’m happy to take part!"
"The organization has a NIDA for Teens site, covering the science behind drug abuse, and a blog called Sara Bellum (cute). There's also a Drug Facts Week web site and a Facebook page. NIDA is on Twitter at @NIDANews (using hashtag #drugfacts2010 for this week)."
"I’m shouting out because in 2009, nearly 1 out of 10 high school seniors were still abusing prescription pain pills… unintentional overdoses involving pain medicines have more than tripled in the past 10 years, outnumbering total deaths involving heroin and cocaine."
"November 8-14 is National Drug Facts Week, and as a parent of a tween/teen, I know you want to be able to talk to your teen about drugs and know the facts...not just facts, but the correct facts. So I’m joining teens, parents, teachers, and scientists across America to kick off National Drug Facts Week by offering up my own shoutout for educating teens about drug abuse."
"Armed with the best of science we can all do better at protecting our health and that of our kids."
"Add your voice today and post your own drug abuse shoutout on your blog, Facebook profile, Twitter account—or wherever you see fit. When you choose to speak, you choose to act."
"Here at Reclaiming Futures, of course, we're especially concerned about adolescent substance abuse among teens in the juvenile justice system."
"According to NIDA's 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey (High School and Youth Trends), cigarette smoking is at its lowest among students in grades 8, 10, and 12. On the other hand, Marijuana use rates have remained steady and non-medical use of Vicodin and Oxycodin increased in the past 5 years."
"Young people are far more likely to use and to become dependent on alcohol and tobacco than the more illicit drugs (though purchasing all of these is illegal for teenagers)."
"This week, you have the opportunity to get smart about what drugs might do, before you act. Learn the facts about drugs and addiction, then think twice."
"We proudly join teens and adults everywhere rallying together on Twitter, Facebook, and their blogs to shatter the myths and spread the facts when it comes to drug abuse and addiction. Won’t you join us?"
We recently had a chance to talk with Super Star (his legal name) of the ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR PROJECT (RSSS). He gave us some advice about becoming a rock star, but he also had some great information about shattering the myths around drugs and drug abuse. Check out part 2 of his interview.
Why is it important to shatter myths about drugs and drug abuse?
Knowing the facts about drugs is essential because drug abuse can kill you or the people you care about. And you don’t need to be addicted a long time for that to happen. Taking a pill, binging on alcohol, or ingesting cocaine just once can bring on horrible consequences, including death.
NIDA’s “Shatter the Myths” booklet states that nearly “1 in 11 people who use (marijuana) become addicted.” I was one of those people. When I was a teenager, I never thought smoking marijuana would lead me to crack cocaine. At the time, I thought, "It’s just weed—no big deal.” But after a while, smoking marijuana wasn’t enough for me, so I sought other drugs to chase the high feeling. I might have made different choices if I had known more about drugs and how they affect you.
We at ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR PROJECT (RSSS) want to share the facts about substance use because there is so much misinformation out there. We believe that if people are informed, they can make better choices for themselves. The ROCKSTAR SUPERSTAR PROJECT is excited to support and promote National Drug Facts Week this year. If National Drug Facts Week was around when I was in high school, I might have asked, “Can you help me?”
How has your life changed since you stopped using drugs?
I’ve discovered my purpose in life after surviving an almost 15-year battle with the disease of addiction. Today, I’m a recording artist. My twin brother, Rock Star (also his real legal name), and I recorded Serenity, a first-of-its-kind CD focused solely on combating addiction. A Grammy-winning producer worked on the CD, along with many famous musicians who came together to help others through their own addiction struggles. Guests on our CD include current and former members of the bands Kiss, Heart, The Goo Goo Dolls, Dokken, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and many more.
What are RSSS’s Skype sessions?
The Skype sessions give the chance to participate and ask questions in a small group. I share part of my story as well as information from NIDA’s “Shatter the Myths” booklet with facts about drugs and drug abuse.
My main messages are:
1. Success is achieved by making responsible choices. Waking up every day and doing the right thing will always get you to the right place.
2. Everyone should believe in themselves, no matter what others think.
3. Sobriety is COOL!!
What advice can you give someone who wants to experiment with drugs?
I’d tell them to ask themselves if not ever having the chance to go home again is worth the risk. Is waking up in a jail cell worth the few minutes of escaping reality?
I would tell them to reach out to an adult or someone they trust and tell them about how they’re feeling. Ask for help, because not asking for help or support can lead to a life of misery or no life at all.
Always love, always encourage, and never let despair get in the way!