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Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of The National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

Educational initiative that links teens to facts about drugs and alcohol

The National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) commemorates their 10th anniversary  from March 30 through April 5, 2020 on educating teens about substance use and addiction. NDAFW was created by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in 2010. NDAFW strives to better prepare and educate teens to make good decisions, and be aware of the risks alcohol and drug use poses to their health.

NDAFW is an opportunity for teens, scientists, and other experts to discuss science-based facts on the effects of drugs on the brain, body, and behavior. Experts help educate teens on counteracting the myths about drugs and alcohol that they may get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, NDAFW events have been moved to virtual learning and online activities across the country. Despite these challenges, NDAFW is continuing to grow and reached 2,000 events in all 50 states and 20 countries in 2019.

NDAFW offers countless activities that allow for virtual participation. Below are some examples:

  • Playing NDAFW’s Kahoots game that covers topics such as safe prescriptions and marijuana myths
    • Taking the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge to test teens with an interactive quiz on their knowledge about drugs and alcohol
    • Spreading the facts they learn about drugs and alcohol on social media platforms using the new “Not everyone’s doing it” social media cards and hand-held placards
    • Participating in the Drug Facts Challenge that talks about addiction, vaping, marijuana, and more
    • Joining the Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day held live online between high school students and NIDA scientists that givesstudents from around the country the opportunity to ask the questions they most want answers to about drugs, alcohol, and drug use, including drug and alcohol effects, how to help friends or family that are abusing drugs, and what causes addiction
    • Out of School Time Toolkit that offers science-based activities for educating teens outside their regular school curriculums
    • Utilizing free toolkits and activities that help teachers educate on the effects of drugs on the mind and body with standard classroom lesson plans

NIDA encourages students and organizations to participate in their Twitter storm to raise awareness for NDAFW on Monday, March 30, from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT. The goal is to spread awareness about drug and alcohol education using the hashtag #NDAFW. Following this, on April 3rd at 3p.m., NIDA will host a Twitter Trivia Challenge in collaboration with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) to test teens’ knowledge of drugs and alcohol.

NDAFW is an annual observance created in 2010 by scientists at NIDA to educate teens on drugs and addiction based on scientific evidence. In 2016, the NIAAA became a partner, and alcohol was added as a topic of discussion. NIDA is the lead federal agency supporting drug use and addiction research and applying that to improve public health. NIAAA supports and conducts research on the impacts of alcohol use on human health and well-being. NIDA and NIAAA are both part of the National Institutes of Health, the primary federal agency that conducts medical research and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for diseases.

NIDA and NIAAA work with many federal, state, and local partners to run educational programs  for teens on drugs and alcohol. Partners include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Office of Safe and Healthy Students in the U.S. Department of Education and the Drug Enforcement Administration in the U.S. Department of Justice.

For more information on where to learn about upcoming events or on how to get more involved:

  • Follow @NIDAnews and @NIAAAnews on Twitter or join the conversation by using the hashtag #NDAFW.
    • Check out events already registered on NDAFW Map to see who is hosting an event in your area
    • Visit the website: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug- alcohol-facts-week
    • call 301-443-1124