NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Get the Download on Drugs: Help Us Shatter the Myths!

Sara Bellum
September 20, 2010

National Drug Facts Week is coming, and teens all over the country will be talking. To get the conversation started, NIDA has created a booklet, Drugs: Shatter the Myths, that separates fact from fiction about drug abuse and addiction.

As you’ll notice, the ‘thought’ questions below also appear at the back of the booklet. We want your opinions—so join in the discussion by leaving us a comment. It can be about one of these ideas, or your own.

1. How do you convince a friend who is using drugs that they may be at risk for addiction or other bad consequences even though they feel fine right now?

2. Knowing what we do now, would you make cigarettes illegal if you could?

3. What is the best way to convince you or your friends that prescription drugs can be dangerous when abused— without scaring the people who need them?

4. Do you consider it cheating when athletes use steroids to improve their performance—what should the consequences be?

5. What’s the best way to get messages out to teens?

  • Social networks
  • TV ads
  • Web sites

6. Who should the messages be from?

If we haven’t covered something you want to know more about, go to http://www.teens.drugabuse.gov and enter your topic in the search box – and thanks for sharing!

Comments

Yes i think cigertettes should be illigal. Smoking causes cancer, which leads to death. Smoking should be illegal becauese it can cause second hand smoke. Smoking is very dangerous and grows.
AS you can see smoking should be illegal due to health complications.

Yes i think it is cheating to use steroids as an athlete because it is unhealthy and illegal. First of all if you get cought using steroids you can be put into jail. Also it is dangerous because you can do over doses.

i think that the best way to get messages to teens is by tv adds. i myself am discusted of the smoking commercials on tv. i do not want to end up like thoughs people on tv. a lot of teens sit around watching tv all day or all weekend. so tv adds would be the way to go.

i think a good way to get the message to teens is by putting adds on facebook about drugs

I think cigarettes should be illeagel because they can mess you up and they are harmfull to you and the tar can fill up your lungs if you smoke alot and that can be dangouers.

i think it is cheating when athleats use drugs to make them do better. It would be like adults playing on a kids team for sports. Its not fair to the other athletes. If they want to do better they should practice not do drugs.

I think cigarettes should be illeagel because they can mess you up and they are harmfull to you and the tar can fill up your lungs if you smoke alot and that can be dangouers. Fianlly, i think the biggest reason kids start smoking because there frineds are or they think its cool or want to fit in.

NO i think althetes should not be able to use steriods to approve themselves its unheathly and there not working hard enough.

I do think cigarettes should be illegal i think because their is so many of them and they cant do one thing that gives you positive results. Also many teens are smoking and its giving them terrible results in school.

Yes i would definatley consider steriods or other perfomense enfancing drugs cheating. I think this because all these steroids are making u alot stronger without any effort. then all those athletes who work their but off and get the same results or maybe not even as good results. so yes i do consider steroids cheating.

I think cigarettes should be illegal. Its making people sick or giving them cancer. Smoking is bad for your lungs. Kids often smoke to fit in or be cool but they shouldnt have to smoke to be cool or fit in.

Wow this is an interesting article. I hope to see more in the future. [link removed, per guidelines]

I think that cigarettes should be illegal. They are hurting everyone, whether you are the person smoking them, or the person who happens to be sitting next to them. Everyone is effected, and it can harm your body, by giving it harmful diseases. By smoking in front of someone, you are going against their natural rights. Plus, do you understand how awful it is that kids are smoking at our age? That is ridiculous, considering that they are not supposed to to. Hence, I think that cigarettes should be illegal.

Yes, I think that it is wrong for athletes to be using steroids to help them play better. They should be fair to the other people who are actually trying to play. Also, everyone who uses these should be kicked off of the team. They shoud pay for what they do. There should be consequences to everything. People should learn that if you are not going to play fair, do not bother playing at all.

I would make ciggarets illegal if i could because they cause so many problem with health. Also it polutes the air and the ground when smokers throw the ciggaret on the ground.

I think that if athletes do use steriods to improve there performance. I think that they should be kicked off the team if they are on one. If they are not i think that the persons sponsers sould drop him/her and find someone.Also i think that there manager sould just fire him/her or the manager should put them on a lay-off.

This Book Helped me to the right path the school clinic gave it to me cuase i had a overdose with durgs and i went to the hospital so gives u the right path to go ;)

I'll say no to #2, cigarettes should NOT be illegal. Assuming by "illegal", you mean outlawing possession as well as sales/manufacturing, it would turn millions of addicts into criminals right away, who will rather than go cold turkey, turn toward the black market and street dealers to get their nicotine. Gangs that would control the supply would become far more powerful than they are today. Tobacco would end up grown in people's homes and yards, and then the Government will have to spend billions in efforts to eradicate tobacco like they try to do cannabis. Zero-policy school and workplace rules and laws would result in massive expulsions and firings of those testing positive for nicotine metabolites, or caught in the act of smoking, or possibly just smelling like smoke.

Making cannabis illegal was easy, because it was mainly the drug of minorities (as Harry Anslinger was more than happy to point out to Congress when the first prohibitions were made into law)... but nicotine is a drug found in all races and classes; the political backlash would have a cigarette ban repealed in months.

1. The facts and consequences about drug use is most likely clear to them if they are using it. I would inform them about the harm they are doing, remind them what they are doing to themselves, and voice my own opinion. I would tell them that they cannot do it, but just saying that will make them want to rebel. It would be useless, not to mention pointless. So the choice is always theirs, but the fact would be made clear to them by me.

2. No. It would most likely make illegal activity rates go up. People aren't going to stop something they love, and feel like they need. I would instead spend time on Drug Awareness. Istead of wasting it on arresting people who are smoking cigarettes illegally.

3. I would explain TOO MUCH can be harmful, but if you follow the prescribed dose, it is more likely to help than harm you. It could give you a high, which you might like, but you could O.D. which isn't something you should be wanting, and if you are you need some help. For your own sake. On the other hand, the drug is obviously approved, so if you are prescribed it, if you don't over dose then you should be COMPLETELY FINE.

4. No, I don't. But I also don't see how they could feel satisfactory from winning know they used drugs to enhance thier performance. It is your choice, but keep that last sentence in mind.

5. No technology related ads. Never affects me, so why should it affect others? Try it in person, someone speaking to you or a group of people.

6. Have people with real life experiences come speak at your school, church, athletic team, etc. I find it's more effective if someone doesn't just tell me facts about drugs and dangers, but shares personal stories. And not just success stories, like times they had managed to say no and get out of the situation, but someone who had made the mistake and recovered from it. Or someone who just made the mistake and hadn't quite recovered. More real life things, because having a person who recovered speak and tell their story is more likely to make students think, "Hey, they are fine. I will be, too.". Someone who just can't manage to keep themselves away, or someone who FINALLY managed to, but not without a disease of some sort. Maybe a family member of a deceased person who O.D. on drugs. Something that is more REAL. Not just a straight up fact list and a few fake examples.

1. I would tell my friend, you might be fine now but later on you will get addicted and you will harm yourself. I don't want to see my friend get hurt.

2. Yes, i would make cigarettes illegal because cigarettes are a gateway drug so once you start smoking cigarettes you will most likely begin drugs like marijuana and alcohol and other harmful drugs.

5. The best way to send a message out to teens is TV adds. They should have a celeb like Justin Bieber send out the message. Justin Bieber would convince teens that drugs are bad. :) :)

Question #2 Yes, i would make cigarettes illegal because, young teens get addicted like a baby does to candy. and they have so many bad chemicals in it and causes cancer. so many young adults, teens and even elderly are dying more and more of cancer every day!

Question #6 I think the message should be from Chris Rene because, he has been through it all, he has told his life story on X-Factor. He said that he was a severe drug abuser and alchohalic. once was told he had a year to live. but that did not stop him from using drugs. The only thing that he thought could stop him at that point was death. but then his girlfriend gave him news, she was pregnant, so he ammediately went to rehab. he stopped using drugs. and now its been 2 years and he's a very famous pop singer. ps: its in his song!! if you listen to the 1st version from x- factor auditions it says "It's been 9 months now, haven't had a drink and im starting to see clear now" and his updated one was " it's been 2 years now haven't had a drink and im startin' to see clear now"

Yes I would make cigarettes illegal because many people die from them and are harmful to other people around the smoke.

The best way to get the message out to teens would be social networks and tv ads, not websites.

2.) Knowing what I do know, I would make cigarettes illigal because the are harmful and can hurt you.

5.) I think the best way to get messages out to teens is by a social network. A lot of teens have and are consistantly on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.

I think athletes using steroids is cheating. If your an athlete or playing a sport you shouldn't be depending on drugs for your performance, you should be depending on your own skills and talents. Athletes didn't go into sports to use steroids, they probably did it because they like the sport and their good at it. If your using steroids as an athlete, how cany anyone tell whether what your doing is because of your own talents, or because of steroids?

I think the best way to convince someone that prescription pills are dangerous, without scaring the people who need them, is by explaining that some people do need pills, but using them in the wrong way is not good for your health. Taking prescription pills for no reason is dangerous. You could become a drug addict, become really sick, or go to jail for using them when you don't really need them. Some people really do need pills, but if you can't think of any sicknesses or symptoms of sicknesses you might have that the pill could help relieve, than you know your not using it for a good reason. I would explain to that person that you should only take pills when you are sick, and don't overdose on the pills when you are sick.

5. The best way to get the message out to teens would be to put it on a social network. I would say most teens have a Facebook acount. So, I would put the message on Facebook or maybe Twitter. Some teens don't have a Facebook acount. For those kids, I would put it a TV ad. The TV ad could have somebody everybody knows on it, and they could talk how bad it is. If the message was sent through a TV ad, I would receive it.

2. I would make cigarettes illagal if I could. They are really bad for your health, and have severe side effects. After many years of smoking, your lungs are damanged a lot. Cigarettes can shorten your life, too. Maybe if they were illigel people would realize, they are bad for you.

5. The best way to get the message out to teens would be to put it on a social network. I would say most teens have a Facebook acount. So, I would put the message on Facebook or maybe Twitter. Some teens don't have a Facebook acount. For those kids, I would put it a TV ad. The TV ad could have somebody everybody knows on it, and they could talk how bad it is. If the message was sent through a TV ad, I would receive it.

2. I would make cigarettes illagal if I could. They are really bad for your health, and have severe side effects. After many years of smoking, your lungs are damanged a lot. Cigarettes can shorten your life, too. Maybe if they were illigel people would realize, they are bad for.

2. yes i would make cigarettes illegal if i could because I inhale a lot of second hand smoke which is worse than
first hand smoking, also people who smoke get lung cancer or other forms of sickness or death.

5. the best way to get a message out to teens is the social network because a lot of teens text other people on Facebook and twitter and i think it could be more noticeable.

#2) I would definatley make cigarettes illegal.Yes! of course i would. i would definatley because once you smoke one cigarette your going to want to do it more because of the nicoten. My grandma died of somking, she stopped for about 2 weeks and could no more take she had to, so she did and ended up in the hospital dying. She did know that it could kill her and she has been doing it for at least untill she was a teen!! There are so many chemicals in just ONE Cigarette. It is very sad when i see somebody smoking, it makes me want to take there Cigerrette and through it on the ground and stomp on it. It does not do any one good at all it makes them smell TERRIBLE!!! All it does is shorten your life and your breathe.

#5) I know the best way to get teens to stop this drud additction. I know that in the question it gave me many examples but i want to list my own. I know that alot of teens have there drivers licence, so i think that we should put up on a bill boared saying "People may think drugs are so cool and that there everything to you, your wrong because all they do is screw your body and your mid up, it may not happen to you yet but it will and its going to hit you hard when it does, it only takes time. Also, just in one cigareet there are about 599 addictives. Its hurting your body not mine.

5. I think that the best way to get the message ourt to teens would to put out on facebook or twitter. Most teens have social network accounts and it would be very easy for them to receive the message. Tv ads might work too, depending on the channel it's put on.

2. Yes, i would make cigarettes illegal if i had the chance. A few of my family member shave died from lung cancer related to smoking and thousand sof other people do each year, too. There are so many harmful chemicals in cigarettes and most people do realize they're bad for you, but are already addicted. If they were illegal, people wouldnt have as easy of access to them and it would be harder to become addicted.

4. I think athletes who use steroids is a cheater. Yes there should be consequences. It's cheating and in kindergarten we learned not to cheat so what makes you so special. you should be taken off the team and not allowed to participate in any other sport and should be publicly humiliated.

6. I think the message should be from teens who have gone through addiction, who have gone through drugs and alcohol but stopped. I think that it should be these people talking to teens and saying to them "I have gone through it and I stopped so can you, and it is not impossible but hard to do."

2)I would make cigarettes illage if I could.I would because they are really bad for your health, also you could get lung cancer. Also cigarettes can also shorten your life, depending on how old you are.Also you can be addicted to the chemical in the cigarettes.

5)If you wanted to get a message to a teen the best way would be to but it on facebook because most teens have a facebook acount.You could also put it on TV ads because most people watch TV but most people now a day people fast-forword the commercials.Also TV ads could tell how bad it is and how it affects people.

5. The best way to get the message out would be to put it on T.V. shows and to show the affects of it. Or you could put it on different social medias like Twitter or Facebook.

6. I think this message should be for teens by teens. It should be by people who know what will happen. and they should show the risks of using drugs or alcohol. The teens could show pictures of people who were arrested for doing drugs like my teacher showed in class. Even though the pictures were so disgusting, some people in my class thought it was funny. News flash people, if you think it looks funny then why don't you try it and then maybe you won't think that it's so funny anymore.

5. I think the best way to get the message out to teens is by TV ads. I don't think I know any seventh grader who doesn't watch TV!
6. These messages should not be from celebrities! I know probably everybody thinks they should but in reality they don't even care what they are talkin about the only care about the money they are getting paid. Now, I am not saying that to every single celebrity but a big handful of them do. Therefore, I think kids (none celebrity kids) should put out the commercial. I think kids will most likelylisten to other kids!

2) I would make cigarettes illegal because many people die from it, our get some kind of cancer from cigarettes. It also makes many people sick and unhealthy. What makes it unhealthy is from all the chemicals. Cigarettes have about 4,000 chemicals in them. This is why I think the should be illegal.

4) I think athletes are cheating when they take steroids.The consequence should be if they are caught the first should be they cannot play for 35 games. The second should be that they cannot play for a year. Then on the third offense they should be banned for life from sports.

2. I would make it illegal because it kill to many people and only more will die if it won't be illegal.

4. Yes I think it is cheating when a athletes ues steroids because they are giving themselfs fake musles thats like going to the docter and getting surgury for musles. And I would take them out for the rest to the season and if useing it the next season I would put them in jail for a year, the next year there still two years and such.

5. I think the best way to get messages across to teens is by using social networking. I would use Facebook because a lot of teens have a Facebook account. I don't think TV ads or websites would work because people fast forward commercials and get really annoyed at pop up ads.
2. I would make cigarettes illegal if I could. There is a ton of chemicals and things like that in them. Cigarettes can also cause various types of cancers and diseases and cause many deaths because of this.

i would not make cigarettes a iilega i would have cards simply limting people cigarttes each day then slowly lowering the amout

2.No i think people can make their own choices even if they are harmful it is their right.

4. Yes because it is not fair to people who do not want to wreck their bodies using steriods.

1. Yes i would do every thing i could to ban cigarettes only because of all the harmful chemicals in them.

2. Yes i would consider it cheating if an athlete used steroids. i believe the consequences should be 4 game suspension.

2: I would make cigarettes illegal because they harm more than just the person who is smoking them. Second-hand smoke is bad too.

4: I do consider it to be cheating when athletes use steroids because it is giving them an advantage over people who are playing fair. I think the consequences should be disqualification from the match/ game.

2.i would make cigarettes illegal.
5.the best way to get messages out to teens in through websites or social networks

i would tell my friend that they feel fine now but it could lead to them harming themself

3.) i would tell my friend that if they get addicted to it they are going to want it more and they might overdose. the people who a doctor prescribes it to do not have to worry about it because they know how much to take.

Knowing what i do know about cigarettes, I would make cigarettes illegal if I could because I know that they are bad for health I and I quote "I will not smoke when i get older."

The best way to get messages out to teens is by social networks TV ads.

Question number 2: If i could make cigarettes illegal i would because i think it is unhealthy and I think people die more quickly when using cigarettes. Question number 4: I think it is cheating when athletes use steroids or any other drug to help win a game. I think the consequences would be to be off the team.

2. i would not make cigarettes iilegal i would make cards so every day a person well be given a certain amout of cirgarettes a day then over time make that number to 0

4. i would consider it cheating because that is not the players personally best because the drug is doing the work not the player the consequenes would be unable to play in the next game.

2. I would make cigarettes illegal because cigarettes cause lots of different illnesses and they contain lots of harmful chemicals. Also, i would never want to see one of my family memebers get cancer or even die from smoking.

4. I think it is considered cheating if athletes use steriods to improve their performance because athletes shouldn't rely on drugs to help them play better. They should rely on their own talents to play their sport, and not just drugs. If atheles are caught using steriods to improve their skills, I think they should have to either be taking out of the game or taken off the team.

Question #2: If I could now, I would make cigaretts illegal because it is HORRIBLE for your health!
Question #4: I do think it is cheating when athletes use steriods. I thinkthis because a real dedicated athlete would earn strength and skill by PRACTICING AND WORKING OUT! Not by using drugs! The consequences should be suspention or (in bad cases) It should be permanant suspention.

2. I would make cigarettes illegal if I could , because they're disgusting and terrible for you. The things they put in there , and also the health defects! You can get brain damage, mouth damage, cancer etc. ..its really bad for you and I would ban them if I could.

5. The best way to get the message out to NOT do drugs is on TV probably. A lot of people watch TV so its a good idea. There are thousands of websites that are about staying away from drugs, but nobody really looks at them too much. On TV, they can put the commercials or even TV shows on stations a lot of teenagers watch. On a lot of TV shows they're showing a lot of drugs/alcohol/cigarettes and they show it like they're okay for you to have, and they're not. So people need to get the message out.

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