Observance helps teens dispel myths about substance use
March 23, 2020—National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) marks its 10th anniversary March 30 through April 5, 2020, encouraging communities around the country to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about substance use and addiction. NDAFW is a joint initiative of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which are both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NDAFW is an annual, week-long observance in which local educational events link teens with science-based facts about drugs and alcohol through live and online activities across the country. Since its inception in 2010, NDAFW has continued to grow, with planners organizing nearly 2,000 events in all 50 states and in 20 countries last year. Due to COVID-19, many NDAFW local events may be cancelled, rescheduled, or adjusted to a virtual/remote activity.
“Teens can make good choices if they understand how substance use affects their developing brains,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. “For ten years, NIDA has been working with communities nationwide and around the world to provide young people with the critical information they need to improve their health and avoid the potentially devastating effects of drug addiction.”
“The challenges that alcohol and drugs pose to young people are an ever-present reality. The value and importance of working with our NIDA colleagues to provide accurate information about how alcohol and drugs affect the brains and bodies of young people is critical,” said NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D.
In lieu of in-person events and activities, NIDA encourages virtual participation. There are countless activities that teens, parents, caregivers, and teachers can do that don’t involve leaving the house. Examples include:
- Playing the new Kahoot! games with an online class or encouraging students to play the games individually.
- Taking the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge. Test students’ knowledge about drugs and alcohol with this short, interactive quiz available in English and Spanish that can be used on mobile devices. More than 200,000 people took the IQ Challenge last year.
- Sharing the facts on social media. Tweet, snap, or post. Social media platforms can be powerful tools to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs and alcohol. Use the new “Not everyone’s doing it” social media cards and hand-held placards.
- Participating in the Drug Facts Challenge!, an interactive game using scientific facts about the brain and addiction, marijuana, vaping, and more.
- Taking advantage of the free, science-based resources to use in classrooms and communities, or at home. These include toolkits and activity ideas on various topics; science- and standards-based classroom lessons and multimedia activities on teens and drugs; and the recently updated Mind Matters series, which helps teachers explain to students the effects of various drugs on the brain and body.
NIDA will host a Tweetstorm to raise awareness for NDAFW on Monday, March 30, from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT. Students and organizations can participate by tweeting about drug and alcohol education and using the hashtag #NDAFW during that hour. On Friday, April 3, at 3 p.m. EDT, NIDA will host a Twitter Trivia Challenge in collaboration with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Anyone can test their knowledge by following the hashtag #NDAFW and answering multiple-choice questions about drugs and alcohol.
NDAFW is supported by many partners, including federal agencies such as the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Office of Safe and Healthy Students in the U.S. Department of Education; the Health Resources & Services Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and the Drug Enforcement Administration in the U.S. Department of Justice.
Stay up to date on National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® by following @NIDAnews and @NIAAAnews on Twitter or join the conversation by using the hashtag #NDAFW. Find further information about National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® on NIDA’s website.