Mentor Foundation USA Hosts National Drug Facts Day for D.C. Students to "Shatter the Myths" About Drugs

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In observance of National Drug Facts Week (NDFW), Mentor Foundation USA in partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Embassy of Sweden and The Mario Do Right Foundation is hosting National Drug Facts Day (NDFD) at the Swedish Embassy on November 2, 2011, from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  

One hundred D.C. high school students have been invited to have an opportunity to interact with top U.S. scientific experts and inspiring guest speakers to "shatter the myths" about drugs, and pledge to stay drug-free.

"If we want to know why substance abuse is so prevalent in youth culture, we must begin to listen to our young people and adjust our prevention efforts to meet their needs," says Jamila Sams, Program Director for Mentor Foundation USA.  "In turn, we may be dispelling a few myths of our own such as why certain youth drug prevention methods are not working and why others are. Mentor Foundation USA is excited to take part in this exchange of ideas and information with youth and experts in the field of drug prevention," she says.

Guest speakers at the program will include NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow and R&B recording artist Mario (Barrett), of The Mario Do Right Foundation who will share his personal story of how substance abuse affected his family.

"We are overly excited to partner with NIDA, Mentor Foundation USA and the other organizations to discuss a topic which is so relevant to the young people in our society.  I am proud to be a part of it." - Mario Barrett, The Mario Do Right Foundation.

Retailing fashion chain H&M also participates in NDFD by inviting D.C. high school students to compete in a contest of who can create the best "drug-free" slogan.  The winner will be announced at the NDFD event. H&M will print the winning slogan on T-shirts.

The students will also participate in workshops geared around a game show format that addresses drug abuse led by the George Washington University Center for Alcohol/Peer Drug Educators.

National Drug Facts Week is a week-long health observance to bring out the facts about drugs and drug abuse organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. NDFW will be Monday, October 31 through Sunday, November 6, and it will celebrate the inquisitive minds of teens by giving them a space (virtual or physical) to ask questions about drugs and to get scientific answers from experts.

Background. About one-third of high school seniors across the country report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than 10 percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller.  While drugs can put a teenager's health and life in jeopardy, many teens are not aware of the risks. Even for those teens who do not abuse drugs, many have friends or family who do, and they are often looking for ways to help them.  

About the Mentor Foundation USA. The Mentor Foundation USA mission is to prevent drug abuse and promote health and well-being among children and youth in the United States.  Mentor USA offers programs that combine the best of international and U.S. prevention efforts. Mentor USA's approach is to bring the business community together with schools and offer prevention initiatives to youth through different programs. The Mentor Foundation was founded  in 1994 by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and the World Health Organization (WHO). Mentor Foundation has chapter organizations in Colombia, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, UK, USA and a Regional Chapter in Lebanon serving 22 Arab countries.

Contact: Michaela Pratt: (202) 536-1594, michaela@mentorfoundation.org

SOURCE Mentor Foundation USA



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