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Drugs & Health Blog

NIDA's Virtual Town Hall

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Sara Bellum

NIDA’s first-ever Virtual Town Hall on Prevention is now online! What’s a Virtual Town Hall? Well, NIDA asked a bunch of experts in drug abuse prevention to come to the National Press Club in Washington, DC, and talk about how different communities can set up programs for teens that give them interesting things to do after school and on weekends.

At the same time, we asked a lot of people up in Maine to meet at the local Opera House in Camden so they could ask our experts questions by satellite. NIDA research shows that when teens have neat things to do, they are less likely to make poor choices out of boredom. The programs are called “prevention” programs because having interesting activities to participate in can prevent making bad choices about drugs.

For example, at the Town Hall, we saw a video of kids in Maine rock climbing, hanging out with farm animals (have you ever groomed a cow?), doing service projects. Even the kids admitted there wasn’t much to do in their towns so they were happy to have after-school activities that interested them and made them feel good. And guess what? Drug use is down in those towns!

If you want to see our Virtual Town Hall video, click on this link—there’s even a 6-minute version. Show it to your teachers or coaches so they can learn why after school activities are important.

SBB wants to know if you think there are enough fun activities in your town for teens. If not, why not start something?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


This blog and site are a great source of information. I'm using it to research for a Health project, and have gotten a great amount of facts.

I think this is great. A Virtual Town Hall is a far cry from some of the Virtual Worlds and real worlds teens often find themselves in. It's not always easy - I remember.

Stay alive my friends and take care of each other.

I have groomed a cow before!

This blog is very interesting and YES! I have groomed a cow before!!