Every January, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) organization and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) team up to promote National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) to help raise awareness and educate young people to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs and alcohol and their use. Launched in 2010, the organization’s goal is to prevent further loss of teenagers and young adults to drug addiction and alcoholism by organizing events in communities and schools across the country. These educational events give today’s youth an opportunity to talk with scientists and other experts about how drugs and alcohol affect the body and brain.

Every day, teens are bombarded with conflicting messages that leave them feeling confused and unsure of whom to ask for information about drug and alcohol use. It is vital that teenagers and young adults have all the facts about alcohol and drug use, so they can make informed decisions before they consent to substance use. A large percentage of young adults who struggle with addiction as an adult began using drugs and alcohol when they were in high school. The reasons for substance initiation often varies. Substance abuse often begins because of peer pressure (i.e. siblings, friends and older classmates). While others began experimenting with drugs and alcohol because of something they saw in a movie or television show.

Last year, there were more than 2,100 events held throughout the United States and in 17 countries. Events were held by a variety of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs, health departments and hospitals.

Memorial Healthcare invites you to take part in the National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week and help SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. It is crucial to help teens understand the serious consequences of drug and alcohol use. For more information or to find an event location, please click here.

As a commitment to the health and wellness of the community, Memorial Healthcare’s Board of Trustees has chosen to decrease in substance abuse as a top priority for its 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment. To learn more about this initiative, please click here.