BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teens and scientists will connect for the fifth annual National Drug Facts Week, held Jan. 26 – Feb. 1. Through community-based events, online activities, and a Web-based chat with scientists, this week-long observance encourages teens to get facts from scientific experts about drugs and drug abuse. It is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health.
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"An open and honest dialogue that connects teens with leading experts on drugs, National Drug Facts Week has grown exponentially – from 92 events at its inception to now more than 1000," said NIDA Deputy Director Dr. Wilson Compton. "The continued popularity of this effort demonstrates the value in giving teens science-based facts that counter widespread misinformation about drugs."
Question and answer sessions between teens and scientists, as well as a variety of other community-based events, are planned across the country during National Drug Facts Week. An interactive map includes brief descriptions of each local event. NIDA will also host its annual Drug Facts Chat Day where hundreds of high school students participate in a live, online Q&A with NIH scientists to get information to make healthy decisions. The chat can be followed online.
Questions from past Chat Days include:
- How many young people are addicted to drugs?
- Are there any medical benefits to illegal drugs?
- Is smoking marijuana more harmful than smoking cigarettes?
NIDA also encourages teens and parents to take the Drug IQ Challenge, a quiz to test their knowledge about drugs. By taking the quiz, teens can better understand the risks and side effects of drug use. For instance, the majority of high school seniors do not think regular marijuana smoking is harmful, but the amount of THC – the active ingredient in marijuana – is over four times higher than it was 20 years ago. Daily use today can have greater health consequences on a developing teen brain.
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.
SOURCE National Institute on Drug Abuse