This year, hundreds of events are going on across the country to shatter the myths about drug abuse and addiction during the second annual National Drug Facts Week (NDFW), which is October 31 to November 6, 2011.
Below are some highlights of just a few cool events planned around the United States. Meanwhile, see what might be happening near you.
In Scottsdale, Arizona, an organization called INSPIREHealth.org is holding a run event in a baseball field called “Run Drugs Out of Town.” The run, which includes players from the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team, is for kids of all ages, (so far, participants range in age from 19 months to 80 years).
In Golden, Colorado, the Parent-Teacher Association is sponsoring a poster contest and a raffle giving away an iTunes gift card and iPod. Students who take the National Drug IQ Challenge and submit their test will get a ticket to be entered to win.
On Halloween in Dover, Delaware, the community is sponsoring a teen-created video campaign, with video stories about how drugs have influenced the community. Teens are asked how social media could have caused an increase in drug use, and whether teen violence is escalating as a result of increased exposure to drugs. The purpose of the campaign is to involve teens in efforts to raise awareness and in social programs to promote prevention.
Dearborn, Michigan, is hosting a virtual international conference, planned and hosted by the state student advisory board of 13 high school student leaders who train peers in youth-led prevention. The conference is expected to draw 300 attendees from 50 Michigan high schools.
Kearsage Regional High School in North Sutton, New Hampshire, is sponsoring a week-long poster contest, incorporating information from the National Drug IQ Challenge. Schoolwide participation in the challenge will be followed by discussions that a school advisor will help facilitate. Winners are entered in a raffle to win cool prizes.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, Sanderson High Schools has invited a neurologist from Duke University and representatives from Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to share stories. Scheduled classroom visits include a talk from a person in recovery from drug addiction who used to be homeless.
Myra’s Place in Collingdale, Pennsylvania, has invited a “mad scientist” to present drug facts before a free concert with free food and drink and a moon bounce, in collaboration with the Bridgeway Recovery School and the Lighthouse Network.
The Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol and the University of Texas Center for Addiction Research will hold events in several schools in Galveston, Texas, throughout NDFW. The event will be adapted for each school, but will include sidewalk chalk art contests and electronic media-style poster contests.
In Laramie, Wyoming, the WyoCARE/Wyoming Indian High School on the Wind River Indian Reservation plans to include drug facts as part of their drug and tobacco education curriculum, and “shout out” drug facts during morning announcements every day. After taking the National Drug IQ Challenge, winners will receive University of Wyoming clothes and accessories.
That’s just a taste of the buzz that’s building around NDFW. If you don’t see an event going on near you, think about creating one next year. And tell us: How would you give your friends and classmates a heads-up about drugs and addiction?