Teenagers from the Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council (YLC) have joined forces with other teens and scientists across the United States as part of “National Drug Facts Week” (NDFW). The week-long health observance, organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, takes place Monday, January 27th through Sunday, February 2nd. NDFW celebrates 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. As part of the NDFW celebration, the Harmony Community Schools YLC students will have displays/posters in their school, announcements made at the school, posters in the community, share facts at the basketball games and an article in the local newspapers. The Van Buren Community Schools YLC students will have displays/posters in their school, a video shown during lunches at school, handing out Shatter the Myths booklets to fellow students, pass out facts on faux medicine bottles and posters in the community.
About a third of high school seniors across the country report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than ten 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.
We want teens to have the opportunity to learn what science has taught us about drug abuse and addiction. There are so many myths about drugs cluttering our popular culture. National Drug Facts Week is for teens to get honest answers about drugs so they can make good, informed decisions for themselves and share accurate information with friends.