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National Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day

National Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day is an annual live online chat held between high school students and NIDA scientists during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®. Students from around the country ask the questions they most want the answers to about drugs and drug misuse, including drug effects, how to help friends or family that are using drugs, and what causes addiction. Our expert scientists give them the facts. Our next Chat Day will be March 24, 2021.
See the 2019 Chat Day Transcript.

Chat Day in Action!

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How do I register for Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day?

Learn about Drug Facts Chat Day

To register for Chat Day, event organizers must fill out the information on the Chat Day website. The website opens approximately 6 weeks prior to Chat Day. Please note, space is limited to 100 schools, and determinations of acceptance are based on when applications are received and geography. 

Once you’ve registered, check out our NDAFW Chat Day Participants FAQs and Popular Chat Day Q & A pages.

Disclaimer Language for Chat Day
While rare, in the event of inclement weather, or other unforeseen circumstances, Chat Day may be delayed from the original start time, end earlier than expected, or canceled, depending on the severity of conditions.  We will do our best, pending circumstances, to notify participants prior to the event by email and/or phone. However, we ask that you please check the NDAFW Chat Day page the morning of Chat Day to verify that the event is continuing as planned.

In the event of cancellation, please note that transcripts from past CHAT DAYS are always available online on our teen site, where students can search various drug and alcohol topics; view the results of student polls; take the interactive National Drug IQ Challenge, and read other science-based information about substance use.

What can I do to prepare before Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day?

Find links to resources and sample questions to help you and your students prepare for Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day. Read our Teacher’s Guide.

My students participated last year, but none of our questions were answered during class time. Why?

Scientists answering questions during Chat Day.

Every year, NIDA receives thousands of questions from students around the country and the world. We try to answer as many as we can as quickly as possible and continue to refine our process. We try to answer at least a few questions from each class.

Please note that we do include facts and quizzes during the chat to help keep it lively and educational. Every year, we post the transcripts about 2 weeks after Chat Day so that you and your students can see which questions we were able to answer. Search for your school name.

What questions do students ask?

See some of the questions students asked during recent Chat Days and find out how NIDA scientists responded.

Can I read past Drug Facts Chat Day transcripts?

Yes, you can. Read the transcripts from past chats to see if your previous question was answered or simply to see what teens in other parts of the United States are asking NIDA.

Letter to Teachers From the NIDA Director

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, NIDA Director

Dr. Nora D. Volkow,
NIDA Director

Dear Teacher,

NIDA's annual Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day is an extraordinary event that is a substantial learning opportunity for you and your students.

Each year during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, top scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse come together for a day-long live online chat to answer your students’ questions about drugs and their impact on the teen brain and body. We have seen thousands of students ask smart, heartfelt, and insightful questions to some of our Nation's experts about drugs, drug use, and its effects on the brain and body.

Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day is an ideal project for students to get the facts about drugs. We encourage students to ask what is truly on their mind, which is why the format is anonymous. In return, we pledge to provide the scientific facts, not lectures or judgment.

Whether you are registered to participate in the live chat, watching it online, or viewing the archived transcripts, this exercise of seeing real teens’ questions about drugs can be a powerful way to help your students gain the knowledge required to make smart and healthy decisions.

Thank you for your dedication to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drug abuse!


Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse