New Psychoactive Substances (synthetics) Event Toolkit

If you are interested in an event or promotional activity that focuses primarily on New Psychoactive Substances (synthetics), here are links to resources from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and others.

Warning Sign

Marketed as a safe and legal alternative to illicit drugs, new psychoactive substances (NPS) – also known as K2, Spice, bath salts, herbal incense, or “synthetic marijuana” – have chemical compositions that are often widely unknown, potentially causing a wide variety of dangerous health consequences, including heart trouble, vomiting, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, violence, suicidal thoughts, and even death. In many cases, an unknown combination of potentially toxic chemicals are sprayed on plant material and sold as an alternative to marijuana


Read More About New Psychoactive Substances

In recent years, these substances have been notoriously easy to purchase in gas stations, novelty shops or over the internet. That accessibility, combined with the misperception that some of these products are “natural” and therefore harmless, has made these drugs popular among the high-school age group. For example, NIDA’s 2017 Monitoring the Future survey found that of the illicit drugs most used by high-school seniors, synthetic cannabinoids are third only to hallucinogens and marijuana.

Many of these substances are also marketed as a “legal high,” helping them rapidly gain in popularity over the last decade. The severe misperception associated with these drugs has led to an uptick in use and a corresponding uptick in overdoses – particularly among young people.

If your community is interested in holding an NPS event for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, we have resources to assist you in planning your event or promotional activity.

Synthetic Cathinone (Bath Salts) Resources

NOTE: All resources are from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and available online only unless otherwise indicated.


bath salts


Additional Resource for International NDAFW Events

Synthetic Cannabinoid (K/2 or “synthetic marijuana”) Resources

Multimedia and Interactive Resources

Activity Ideas

A Listicle Tickle
A Listicle Tickle
Remind teens about the dangers of drugs with a listicle about DrugFacts using NIDA’s resources.
"A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words"
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Create a 1 minute video of how substance use has impacted your community or a neighbor community.
Bake Sale
Bake goods
Host a bake sale to help raise money for your club!
Become a CSI Agent
Become a CSI Agent
Who can sort out clues in the CSI: Web Adventures virtual game and solve the mystery first.
Bike Party
Illustration of a bike race
Organize a local bike party to raise awareness about substance use.
El equipo de NDAFW se entusiasma con presentar un nuevo juego de Bingo que cualquier persona pueda utilizar.
Blog it Out!
Gone viral sign
Drugs & Health: NIDA’s Blog for Teens is full of emerging trends and the latest science-based research on drug misuse and addiction.
Candlelight Vigil
Candlelight Vigil
Drug misuse can hurt families and communities, no matter where you live.
Chat Day Event
Chat Day logo
Follow the Chat!
Choose Your Path
Choose Your Path
Suggest that your school hold an assembly to focus on the dangers of prescription drugs.
Concert with Local Bands
Concert with Local Bands
Everybody loves a good concert.
Drug Awareness 5K
Drug Awareness 5K
Staying healthy is more than just being drug-free!
Football Trivia Party!
Football Trivia Party
With the Super Bowl coming up, why not use it as an incentive to get kids to think about leading healthier lives?
Put together a flash mob in the local school, mall, or Movie Theater.
Get Involved
Get Involved
Host a program where everyone attending writes their Senator, Congresspeople, Mayors, Governors, or even the President.
Good Morning, NDAFW!
Good Morning, NDAFW!
During the school announcements over the PA system, have teachers, counselors, principal state a drug fact.
Graffiti Fact Wall
Graffiti wall
Create a graffiti type wall on poster paper with facts about drugs, slogans, facts/myths, posters, and messages about where to get help.
Grammy Music Contest
Teens make music contest
Participate in the GRAMMY Foundation® and MusiCares® Teens! Make Music Contest.
Halftime Activities
Halftime Activities
Come up with creative and fun sports halftime contests!
HBO Addiction Q & A
HBO Addiction Q A
NIDA and HBO have teamed up as co-presenters of an Addiction film series.
Hold an Addiction and Art Contest
Addiction and Art contest
Art can be a powerful expression of emotion around the theme of drugs and addiction.
Host an Online Event
social media icons
Host a [Twitter chat, Facebook Live, or other online event] to share scientific facts and SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs and alcohol.
I want to SHATTER THE MYTHS because...
I want to SHATTER THE MYTHS because
Join NDAFW by sharing why you want to SHATTER THE MYTHS!
I Resolve...
I Resolve...
It’s the time of year for New Year’s Resolutions!
Lunch n’ Learns
Lunch n’ Learns
Learning while you eat is definitely more fun!
Massive Sculpture Exhibit
Organize a massive sculpture exhibit at your school, or challenge other schools to enter this contest.
Meme Contest
Organize a meme challenge at your school.
Educate players about certain topics and facts surrounding drug and alcohol use.
Peer-to-Peer Counseling
Peer-to-Peer Counseling
Sometimes the best people to explain facts to teens are teens themselves.
Poster Campaign
Poster Campaign
Paint the town in drug fact posters!
Prescription Drug Misuse Art Contest or Poster Campaign
Art Contest or Poster Campaign
Create illustrations to showcase what you’ve learned about prescription drug misuse.


Radio Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Radio Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Write a radio public service announcement about teen prescription drug misuse.
Rap Slam/Poetry Slam
Rap Slam Poetry Slam
Are you and your friend good with words? Hold a "slam" event---writing rap lyrics or poetry about drug use.
Remembering Celebrities
Remembering Celebrities
By understanding that drug misuse can extinguish talent, youth, and life, we can grasp the effects of the disease.
Scavenger Hunt
Facebook Scavenger Hunt
Scatter clues around your school or community.


School Assembly
School Assembly
There are many inspirational people in your local community working with people recovering from a problem with drugs.
Sidewalk Art
Sidewalk Art
Hold a contest for teen artists.
Social Media Campaign
Social Media
Social media is the best way for getting information out fast, so let’s help spread the news about drug misuse!
Songwriters Competition
Songwriters Competition
Use your musical talent to spread the word about drugs and drug misuse.


Take it to the Streets
Take it to the Streets
Volunteer at community events and hand out information regarding drugs and drug misuse.
There's Snow Business like Show Business!
There's Snow Business like Show Business
Hey it’s getting cold outside! Time for an indoor karaoke or talent show.
Trivia Night
Trivia Night
Hold a trivia night at your school or community center.
Wear the Message!
Wearing the Message
Get creative and develop your own messages and images to put on a t-shirt.


What’s in the News “Book Club”
Drugs: Shatter the Myths
Our free booklets are great resources for answering your questions.

Need more ideas? Check out the Get Activity Ideas page, photos from past events on our Flickr page, and events on our View Events Map page.