This March 20th marks the 13th National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW), first launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The purpose of this week is to counteract the myths that youth get from the Internet, television, movies, music, or friends, and replace those myths with scientific facts about substances, addiction, and health.
Listed below are teens’ ten most frequently asked questions from more than 118,000 queries received over the years during NDAFW.
10. Why do people use drugs when they know they might cause problems?
9. What are the effects of drugs like Xanax and Percocet?
8. What are bath salts?
7. Can you get addicted to ADHD meds?
6. Is vaping bad for you even if it’s just flavoring?
5. How can I help someone with a problem stop taking drugs? How can I help if they don’t
4. If a pregnant woman takes drugs/smokes/drinks alcohol, what happens to her baby?
3. Can marijuana be used as medicine?
2. Which is more habit-forming: smoking cigarettes or vaping nicotine?
1. What is the worst drug?
Answers to these questions can be found by visiting “Start a Conversation: 10 Questions Teens Ask About Drugs and Health”. The NIDA/NIH website is a wealth of information that includes the reasons for studying addiction in teens, signs and symptoms of drug use, video clips on the brain, and other related topics. The more informed our youth are about substances and the negative impact those substances can have on their lives, the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors.
According to the local Allegany County data from the 2021 Risk and Protective Factor Survey, 12th graders reported the following related to 30-day substance abuse. 74.1% had NOT used alcohol; 95.9% had NOT used traditional cigarettes; 72.4% had NOT used e-cigarettes; and 84.1% had NOT used marijuana. We can all do our part by supporting our youth, getting the facts, and reminding them that NOT all youth are using substances, which is a popular myth among this population.
You can help educate the young people in your life by sharing the below social media posts.
Remember, Prevention Works!