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When it comes to making decisions about drugs and alcohol, young people often turn to their friends for advice. But what happens when those friends have the wrong information?
Each year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, sets the record straight with National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week. The 2016 campaign, scheduled for January 25 to January 31, will empower young people to make healthy choices about substance use by sharing scientific facts about ;drugs and alcohol.
Here are some ways for you and the youth you serve to participate.
Show videos that get youth thinking about prescription drug abuse. The NIDA for Teens PEERx initiative offers interactive videos where youth can "choose their path” about opportunities to use drugs like Xanax and Adderall. Each video segment asks viewers to make a decision for a character in the story by clicking on the appropriate box. Their selections affect the outcome of the story and the next set of decisions placed before them.
Invite youth to post their support on social media. The NIDA for Teens website makes it easy for agencies and young people to get the word out about National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week and related events. Find sample tweets and status updates by visiting this page and clicking on the “Shout Out on Social Media” heading.
Plan a flash mob. Nothing captures people’s attention and communicates a message like a group of teens spontaneously dancing or singing! Youth can spread NIDA’s drug-free message during their performance by wearing t-shirts that promote a drug-free lifestyle. Download one of NIDA’s free iron-on images.
Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.