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While education about drugs, alcohol, and addiction has been going on for many decades, a great deal of misinformation around the topic has continued to pervade culture, particularly among young people.

The aim of this important event is to bring together teens and scientific experts, working to shatter myths about the use of substances as well as addiction.

The hope is that communities all over the nation will participate, offering teens more opportunities to make wise, educated choices related to drugs and alcohol.

Although National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is targeted toward teens, people of any age are invited to participate in this event in a variety of ways!

History of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week’s inaugural event took place in 2010 when it was launched by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Originally held in mid-January, the event was later moved back by a couple of months, to mid-March, allowing more people to get involved with the week. The event is also held through the support of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Each year, this annual health observance is held in cooperation with government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, and other interested parties to continue the effort of protecting and preventing addictive and destructive behaviors.

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week continues to be celebrated each year to foster opportunities and act as a reminder for parents, teachers, and other adults with influence to not only help their teens talk about drugs and alcohol but also consider the ways they use these substances themselves.

How to Observe National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

Looking for ideas on how to participate in National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week? Check out some of these to get started with:

Share Facts About Drugs, Alcohol and Addiction

Get involved with Drug and Alcohol Facts Week by having an intentional conversation with friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors, and others in your sphere of influence. Do some research online or at a local library to get more information that can be learned and shared, starting with some of these facts:

  • The average age which children typically experiment with alcohol and drugs is 13 
  • Alcohol is the substance that is most abused in the United States and the third most common cause of death
  • Alcohol and drugs are involved in approximately 50% of deaths by suicide and are the cause of more than 50% of all violent crimes
  • 80% of all domestic violence abuse reports show a relationship to alcohol or drugs

Learn Common Myths About Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Lots of incorrect information is spread through personal conversations and social media. In honor of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, debunk some myths with correct information, like some of these:

Myth: Marijuana addiction isn’t real.

Fact: While it’s impossible to overdose, habitual use can change the way the body works create a tolerance, and cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped.

Myth: It’s okay to quit alcohol use and smoke marijuana instead.

Fact: Switching from one addictive behavior to another is common and simply creates other addictive cycles.

Myth: Prescription drugs can’t be addictive if my doctor gives them to me.

Fact: Even under the care of a doctor, it’s not uncommon to build a tolerance and eventually get addicted, especially to painkillers such as opiates or bezodiazepines.

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