Teens have so many choices to make: what classes and afterschool activities to sign up for, which music or videos to download, where to go to hang out with friends. And that’s not all of them! Making smart decisions can be complicated, but there’s one choice you can make that might help other teens as much as it helps you: On October 28, join the Sara Bellum Blog for the National Drug Facts Week CyberShoutout to shatter the myths about drugs. By learning the facts about drugs and drug abuse [PDF, 7.42MB] and sharing your thoughts on your blog, Facebook, and Twitter, you’ll join thousands of teens around the country who are spreading the truth. How You Can Participate On October 28, we encourage you to do one of the following:
- Blog about what you learned about drug abuse and let us know about it by dropping us a comment or sending us a message. SBB will post a link to select blogs on our blogroll.
- Tweet your shoutout and use the hashtag #drugfacts2011. NIDA might retweet you on October 28. Post to your Facebook page using the tag @DrugFacts, link to NIDA’s CyberShoutout page, and share some important info that your friends might not know. If you post to your Facebook page, remember to open the privacy settings for that particular post so we can see what you wrote!
- Give us a shoutout by simply posting a comment to one of the SBB posts you like on October 28!
No matter how you participate in the CyberShoutout, we hope you’ll be an online opinion leader on October 28 and help your peers get the facts about drug abuse and addiction!
See our shoutouts: Bloggers | Tweeters | Facebook Posts Today, October 28, marks the second annual CyberShoutout! This is a day for teens to come together with teachers, parents, community organizations, and scientists to shatter myths about drug abuse and addiction and spread the facts by blogging, tweeting, or posting on Facebook. People all over the country are helping to raise awareness about drugs and drug abuse. Throughout the day, we will be showcasing some of Sara’s friends who are spreading the facts and shattering the myths. Thanks again to everyone who is participating! Let your voice be heard! Keep those shout-outs coming all day today, and be sure to watch the Sara Bellum Blog for updates. Bloggers:
- Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA, is featured on the Partnership at Drugfree.org giving a shoutout to the importance of engaging the American teenager around the facts of drug abuse.
- Sue Scheff, author and parent advocate who founded Parents Universal Resource Expert (PURE), says What path will your teen choose? National Drug Facts Week (NDFW) is a health observance week for teens that aims to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse. Through community--based events and activities on the Web, on TV, and through contests, NIDA is working to encourage teens to get factual answers from scientific experts about drugs and drug abuse.
- Sue Scheff gave a second shoutout in her post "It's Not Just Pot Anymore," in which she shares the facts behind marijuana use.
- Jack Maypole, pediatrician and writer, posted this in a story, Deserving of Your Attention: Teens Abuse of ADHD Meds on newly minted college students issues with prescription drugs on The Faster Times blog: I’m covering this topic on the occasion of the opening of NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week to raise awareness — for teens and the adults in their lives — of something about which there are a lot of myths: prescription drug abuse, including ADHD meds.
- The Dana Foundation is participating in today’s CyberShoutout for the second straight year and shattering myths about drug abuse by interviewing Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives member Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D., professor of psychobiology at Harvard Medical School in their post Drug Facts Week Interview: Bertha Madras.
- The MomtiniLounge, a mommy blogger who also participated last year, says: Today, I’m joining teens, parents, teachers, and scientists across America to kick off National Drug Facts Week by publishing my own shoutout for educating teens about the effects of drug abuse" in her post Shoutout to Educate Teens About Drug Abuse.
- The Ultimate Block Party, in its post Everyday ways to promote healthy development – now and later!, asks: Want to do something for your kids that helps promote healthy physical, cognitive, and social development? What if I told you that this activity also helps prevent substance abuse later on? With all these positive effects, you might think that I am talking about something difficult or expensive, but all you need to do is eat together as a family!
- Ryan Donnelly, a recoving drug addict and alcoholic, says: Today, I’m giving a shoutout to educate teens about drug abuse. Monday is the start of the second annual National Drug Facts Week, and I’m adding my voice to spread a powerful message about drug abuse and addiction. Please take some time today to read more on this topic. Visit NIDA’s Sara Bellum Blog and get educated! RESPECT!
- The NIH Science Education blog [post removed] is also joining teens, parents, teachers, and scientists across America to kick off National Drug Facts Week by offering up their own shoutout for educating teens about drug abuse.
- Lisa Frederiksen of Breaking the Cycles says in her shoutout: One of the key risk factors for a person developing a drug abuse/drug addiction is early use — using drugs while their brains are going through the critical developmental stages that occur ages 12-25.
- Dirk Hanson, science reporter and novelist, says: Addiction Inbox is pleased to join the CyberShout again this year, because cigarette smoking among 12th graders reached it’s lowest point in history in 2010—and also because, in the same year, about 10% of high school seniors reported abusing Vicodin. Good things are happening, more truth is being told—but there is a lot of hard work yet to do.
- Barbara of Recovery Happens shares her story as a mother of a drug addict: Here is my message to both parents and teens based on my personal experience being the mother of a very intelligent, kind, funny and good looking young man who got addicted to heroin when he was 17 years old.
- LaDonna Coy shares ways to use social media to support drug use prevention in her post, CyberShoutout - Applying Social Media Technology in Prevention, by listing activities you can do both online and offline.
- Bill Ford from DadOnFire says: Drug abuse can turn into drug addiction and moms and dads need to know they are often the last ones to know. Yes, I am on fire. I have children and have known many young people who have suffered needlessly.
- Phoenix House, a nonprofit provider of drug abuse treatment and prevention services, announced: This morning, singer/songwriter Kara DioGuardi, the creator of our Phoenix Rising Music Program, made this year’s kickoff especially memorable. Appearing on Fox & Friends, Kara announced that two talented teens from our Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles had won the MusiCares/GRAMMY Foundation’s Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest.
- "The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Joins NIDA in Celebrating National Drug Facts Week 2011:" As reflected in the 2011 National Drug ControlStrategy, a key ingredient for preventing drug use is ensuring that communities, parents, and especially our youth, have the most up-to-date scientific information about drug use and its consequences. National Drug Facts Week provides young adults with science-based facts and information about drug and alcohol use, and empowers them to make healthy decisions as informed consumers.
- The team at GovLoop is supporting the cause: NIDA is running a pretty cool program today to shatter myths about Drug Abuse to gear up for next week's National Drug Facts Week program. Much props to NIDA for a cool program.
- AwareRx shouts out this drug fact: Nearly 15% of all US high school students misuse prescription controlled substance drugs.
- The Indiana Prevention Resource Center promoted NIDA's online resources that help teens plan their own National Drug Fact Week events.
- Lisa Killam-Worrall, Pharm.D., director of the Drug Information Center at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, reminds us that: “Prescription drugs can be safe when they are taken by the patient whom they are prescribed for. Danger incurs when people decide to take someone else’s medication without knowing what it is, the dosage amount or the side effects associated with it.”
- Find Youth Info says: Teens have many questions about drugs and drug abuse. Without a reliable source for answers, they turn to the Internet, TV, friends, and pop culture—where the answers they get might be fictional or dishonest. Moreover, when it comes to drugs and drug abuse, misinformation can have serious consequences.
- Wise-Life.com [post removed] shouts out from across the pond in Liverpool, England: While the above messages may originate from the United States, they apply to all people, of all cultures, all over the world!!! Let’s shout about it together.
- Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc (P.U.R.E.): PEERx: Who are your teens choosing to hang out with? It isn't always the 'friend' -it can be your teen making that bad choice. #parenting
- American School Counselor Association: Help shatter the myths! Learn more about the science behind addiction via the Sara Bellum Blog: http://1.usa.gov/iKSFo @DrugFacts
- Phoenix House: Today, National Drug Facts Week begins! We had an amazing kickoff this morning when our friend Kara DioGuardi announced on Fox that teens at our Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles won the MusiCares/GRAMMY Foundation's Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest. We're so proud of these talented young musicians!
- Talbert House: Next week is National Drug Facts Week. Are you up to the challenge? Take the National Drug IQ Challenge to test your knowledge on drug abuse and addiction. What myths did you shatter?
- Centerpoint Health: Next week is National Drug Facts Week. Every day 2,000 teens on average use Rx drugs for the first time - without a doctor's prescription http://bit.ly/d4d6Oj.
- LaDonna Coy: In 2007, prescription pain meds were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined http://bit.ly/djfjGi
- Richland One Community Coalition (ROCC): @DrugFacts about Marijuana: I'm shouting out because long-term marijuana use CAN lead to addiction in some people. Addiction means people can't control their use of marijuana, even though it may negatively affect family relationships, school performance, and extracurricular activities.
- Dominion Diagnostics: We are joining Drug Facts CyberShoutout to shatter the myths about drug abuse. Join us! http://bit.ly/9rUsL8.
- TOGETHER!: Help shatter the myths! Learn more about the science behind addiction via the Sara Bellum Blog: http://1.usa.gov/iKSFo (via Drug Facts)
- The Partnership at Drugfree.org: It's "Fill in the Blank Friday" and we'd appreciate your help! If I could tell the world one thing about drug addiction, it would be _____________.
- Arapahoe House - Official Page: I'm joining Drug Facts CyberShoutout to shatter the myths about drug abuse. Join me - http://bit.ly/9rUsL8.
- BASE (Building A Safer Evansville): It's national drug facts week! Know what you stand for, 63% of Rock County High School students have never tried marijuana! I'm shouting out to give props to that 63%! Drug Facts.
- Healthy Lifestyle Choices: I'm joining Drug Facts CyberShoutout to shatter the myths about drug abuse! Join me here http://bit.ly/9rUsL8
- Dysart Safe Schools/Healthy Students: SHOUTOUT TO SHATTER THE MYTHS! Monday is the start of the second annual National Drug Facts Week, and we're adding our voices to spread a powerful message about drug abuse and addiction. Add YOUR voice by liking "Drug Facts" on Facebook or by going to the Sara Bellum Blog.
- Indiana Prevention Resource Center: I'm joining @DrugFacts CyberShoutout to shatter the myths about drug abuse. Join me: link to your blog post or link to http://bit.ly/9rUsL8.
- Recovery Month: National Drug Facts Week is October 31-Novemeber 6, 2011. Join us to Shatter the Myths about drug abuse with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/index.php
- Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health-Prevention Department: Today, we are giving a shoutout to educate teens about drug abuse. Monday is the kickoff of the second annual National Drug Facts Week, and we are joining teens, parents, teachers, and scientists to add our voice to spread a powerful message about drug abuse and addiction.
- Substance Abuse Helpline via Drug Facts: National Drug Facts Week kicks off today! Test your drug IQ!
- Family First Intervention: National Drug Facts Week is October 31-Novemeber 6, 2011. Join us to Shatter the Myths about drug abuse with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (NIDA): http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/IQchallenge.php
Blogging is a great way to express yourself. With technology platforms that are free and easy to use, it’s never been easier to start a blog. To get a sense of the state of blogs written by teens, we checked out the annual weblog awards—aka, the Bloggies—to find out who’s blogging and who’s paying attention. The Bloggies awarded prizes for a “best teen blog category” written by those age 19 or younger, recognizing winning entries from 2008 to 2010. The following teen blogs received Bloggies in 2010:
- 17 and Baking writes about her passion for writing, baking, and photography and includes recipes and foodie photos on her site.
- Young Chicagonista celebrates being “girl inspired; girl powered.”
- Break the Sky, now a college student, offers an entry about her family’s custom of catching up and talking around the dinner table.
Although the Bloggies eliminated the teen category in 2011, we don’t think that means we have to mourn the death of the teen blog. So, we ask you: do you blog? If not, what’s your favorite way to share your thoughts and ideas with friends, family, and potential fans? You can write your response in the “Leave a Reply” box below, or send us a message. Don’t forget that you can always respond to questions we’ve asked before. Just drop us a comment. We always look forward to hearing from you!
Gili Rusak is a junior in high school. She won an Honorable Mention 2013 Addiction Science Award. Her project explored the characteristics of teens who use Twitter and how Twitter can be used to spread prevention messages among teens. After receiving her award, she told the writers of the Sara Bellum Blog about herself and her winning project.
How did you start doing addiction science research?
I began this research with a mentor who pointed me in the general direction of doing research on social networks, especially Twitter. My brother also encouraged me to begin research in the computer science and data mining field.
What inspired you to start addiction science research?
The thing that inspired me to start this research was that I personally use Twitter and Facebook. I saw these online social networks as a great part of my own life and the lives of students around me. Since social media is such a vital part of teenagers’ lives today, I believed that there could be many positive applications that could come out of studying this age group. Additionally, after conducting a review of the literature, I found that there were no papers that provided statistics about teenagers on Twitter.
What was the most challenging part of doing the research you submitted to the Addiction Science Awards?
For me, the most challenging part of this project was coming up with ideas of what to study and analyze, since my mentor let me make those decisions by myself. To help me, I read a lot of literature on my subject and used similar techniques to those others have used for data analysis on Twitter. I conducted most of my research, wrote all the data collection codes, and created all the analyses by myself.
Do you plan on studying science and continuing research in the future?
I plan on continuing this research, especially looking further into Twitter as a platform to prevent drug use.
In college, I plan on studying science and continuing research because it really intrigues me to study something that has never been studied before. I will probably study computer science, some of which I used for this project.
Do you have any recommendations for high school students interested in doing their own research?
I would recommend that high school students who are interested in research go after something they are passionate about, because when you do research, you have to be willing to commit time and thought to it.
Are you more likely to text or tweet? Maybe you do both, since everyone is a multi-tasker now. Like texting while watching tv or checking email… Not to be left out, NIDA has recently started tweeting @NIDAnews . You can see some of our tweets below:
- 2.7% of eighth graders used cigarettes daily in the past month, down from 10.4% in 1996. http://bit.ly/4ziAlk
- Popping Pills – A Popular Way to Boost Brain Power? Wait and see what NIDA Director says on 60 Minutes: http://bit.ly/9AVfP9
- Sara Bellum Blog Tackles Energy Drinks: A Boost in the Wrong Direction? http://bit.ly/boa8KI
- Check out new NIDA-supported research on damage to the heart muscle as result of steroid use for body building: http://bit.ly/boX6gz
- NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow talks to Addiction Inbox blog at Blending Conference: http://bit.ly/a7egu3
- What’s this new drug “Meow Meow”? Find out in Dr. Steven Grant’s interview with AP. View the story http://bit.ly/a9tSmC
NIDA’s got a lot of company on Twitter: from Ashton Kutcher to Oprah and Selena Gomez to organizations like the White House, the NFL and TMZ. They’re all tweeting these days. You can access Twitter online or on your mobile phone.
So… Do you tweet? Would you ever?
Find us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NIDAnews.
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.
Dozens of social networking sites are out there, and SBB is curious:
Question #8: Which social networking site is your favorite? Do you like MyYearbook or Bebo? How about Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace?
Maybe your site of choice is something else entirely. So, tell us what your favorite social networking site is. Please tell us what you like about it, too.
To answer the question, you can either submit a comment by writing your response in the “Leave a Reply” box below, or send us a message. We read all comments and consider all feedback.
As always, even though we’re on Question #8, you can still respond to previous questions we’ve asked. We look forward to hearing from you!
A few months ago, we asked you about your favorite social networking sites—including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, and Twitter— and now we want to know a little bit about how you use social media. “Social media” is an overarching term that refers to interactive Web sites as a whole, not just social networking Web sites. While this term surely encompasses social networking sites, social media also can refer to blogs and Web sites such as YouTube, Tumblr, Web sites with online discussion forums, and more.
So now we want to know: how do you use social media? Do you blog, watch YouTube videos, post on discussion boards, or share your favorite viral videos and pictures on Tumblr?
To answer the question, you can either submit a comment by writing your response in the “Leave a Reply” box below, or send us a message. As always, we read all comments and consider all feedback.
Don’t forget that you can always respond to questions we’ve asked before; just drop us a comment! We always look forward to hearing from you!
So you’re friends with 100 or more people on Facebook, right? What are the chances that someone you know or a family member is in trouble with drugs or alcohol? Or thinking about trying something they wouldn’t do if they knew the facts?
You could try talking to your friend, or asking if they need help. But what are the chances they’d listen? Would you know the right thing to say?
That old cliché—tell an adult—may sound like good advice. But you don’t want to rat out your friend. So what do you do?
Today you can reach out in ways that didn’t even exist 5 years ago. Interactive online social networks and blogs like this one let you help without feeling you’ve betrayed your friend. You can even get involved in the conversation, like commenting here on SBB.
Using resources like this blog, you can get the latest science on drugs, alcohol, and addiction, and link people to additional science-backed information—anonymously. Facebook, including NIDA’s Facebook page, is another way to find and share trusted information.
Here are some other recommendations for Facebook friends that SBB trusts—and you can, too.
Government agencies with Facebook pages:
- NIDA – http://www.facebook.com/#!/NIDANIH
- National Drug Facts Week - http://www.facebook.com/NIDA.Drug.Facts.Week
- ONDCP – http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/ONDCP/110715232289697
- CDC – http://www.facebook.com/#!/CDC
- NIMH – http://www.facebook.com/nimhgov
- Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Locator – http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
- CADCA – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5870000204
- The Partnership at Drugfree.org - http://www.facebook.com/partnershipdrugfree
Many of these organizations are also tweeting and blogging. You can find a blogroll of those talking about drugs, alcohol, and addiction issues on the Sara Bellum Blog home page by scrolling down and looking in the blogroll to the right of this post: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/
So when you’re wondering what you can do to support a friend or family member, here’s an update for your own Facebook status: Friends don’t let friends stay in the pit with drugs.