About one third of high school seniors report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year. More than ten percent report nonmedical use of potentially addictive prescription painkillers. More than twenty percent report smoking in the past month. Many teens are not aware of the risks to their health, to their success in school and the dangers of driving under the influence. When teens are given the scientific facts about drugs, they can be better prepared to make good decisions for themselves and they can share this information with others.
Teens are exposed to misinformation about drug use from the internet, TV, movies, music, or friends. National Drug Facts Week was launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NICDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIDA scientists are working to educate America's youth through events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction.
The website on National Drug Facts Week is located here: http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov. This site has portals where teens can interact with the site including video and audio options. It has a teen-friendly drug facts section on commonly abused drugs including information about what the drug is and the effects of the drug on the brain and the body. There are also printed materials such as infographics and booklets that schools and communities can order to provide factual information and suggestions for possible activities that can be used to stimulate discussion among teens about drugs and drug use.