WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teens and scientists will connect for the seventh annual National Drug and Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) held Jan. 23-29. This week-long observance gives young people the facts about how alcohol and drugs can affect them, both in the short-term and over their lifetime. This year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will be joined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health, to coordinate this effort.
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"National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM is designed to educate youth regarding the many myths about drug and alcohol use confronting them on a daily basis," said NIDA Deputy Director Dr. Wilson Compton. "By giving teens scientific facts and answering their questions, we're equipping them to make smart decisions."
More than 2,000 NDAFW events across the country and internationally are expected for this January. An interactive map includes brief descriptions of each local event. Event holders are provided with several drug specific online toolkits on how to create an event, publicize it, find an expert, and obtain scientific information on drugs. NIDA will also host the tenth annual National Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day where thousands of high school students participate in a live Web chat with NIH scientists on drug and alcohol use. The chat can be followed online.
Questions from past Chat Days include:
- Are e-cigarettes healthier than regular cigarettes?
- Is marijuana really addictive?
- Can over-the-counter drugs be as bad as illegal drugs?
Online resources, including the popular National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge, will be interactive and accessible on mobile devices, with videos of scientists answering the IQ Challenge questions to better illustrate the science behind the answers. By taking the quiz, teens can better understand the risks and side effects of drug use. By giving teens the scientific facts about drugs, they can be better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. This is especially important now, given that marijuana and e-cigarettes are more popular than regular tobacco cigarettes among teens, as found in NIDA's recent Monitoring the Future survey.
NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. NIDA's media guide can be found at http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/dear-journalist.
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SOURCE National Institute on Drug Abuse