Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drug Fact Not Fiction

National Drug Facts Week is upon us.

Yes, kids, times does fly, and it’s time again to do a CyberShoutout for National Drug Facts Week, which kicks off on Monday, October 31, and runs through November 6. (Check the map for related events in your neck of the woods.)

Sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Drug Facts Week is an official health observance designed to shatter myths and spread the facts about drug abuse and addiction. (Information booklet available here). And, okay, let’s face it: Most programs, textbooks, and videos that attempt to instill an anti-drug message in our nation’s youth are lame beyond belief. From “Reefer Madness” to “This is Your Brain on Drugs,” adults have managed to inculcate one overriding message in the nation’s young people: When it comes to drugs and alcohol, you can’t count on older people to tell you what you really need to know.

So, in honor of National Drug Facts Week, it is with pleasure that I point to the Sara Bellum Blog,  maintained by NIDA, and dedicated to the proposition that tweens and teens might just be as interested in straightforward drug facts as anybody else. Here you will find such goodies as Brain Games (my personal favorite), informative videos by actual scientists, and Peerx, a new section about prescription drugs. Not to mention the actual blog for underagers by Sara herself, which is refreshingly science-oriented for that sort of thing, covering everything from alcopops to nanotechnology.

Addiction Inbox is pleased to join the CyberShout again this year, because cigarette smoking among 12th graders reached it’s lowest point in history in 2010—and also because, in the same year, about 10% of high school seniors reported abusing Vicodin. Good things are happening, more truth is being told—but there is a lot of hard work yet to do.

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