With NIDA's encouragement and support, local communities and organizations in more than 20 States sponsored events to educate teenagers about drugs and drug abuse during the Institute's first annual National Drug Facts Week, held November 8-14.
NIDA's outreach efforts helped spark more than 90 community-based events, including town meetings, symposia, Web activities, TV programs, and contests. Sponsors included schools, community groups, sports clubs, book clubs, and local hospitals. NIDA provided an online toolkit that helped sponsoring organizations plan and publicize their events and find experts and scientific information on drugs.
The week's events included:
- NIDA's fourth annual Drug Facts Chat Day, during which scientists from NIDA gathered in Bethesda, Maryland, to answer almost 1,600 online queries about drugs and drug abuse from middle and high school students. Seventy-five schools registered for the 2010 Chat Day, including one in Rome, Italy. Students most frequently asked questions about marijuana, alcohol, nicotine, and prescription drugs. For the first time, representatives from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute of Mental Health participated in Chat Day discussions.
- A Teen Substance Abuse Awareness Through Music Contest, in which high school students created and performed an original song, music video, or combination of the two depicting the dangers of drug abuse or celebrating a healthy lifestyle. Two boys from Alton High School in Alton, Illinois—18-year-old Daevion Caves and 16-year-old Jordan Atkins—won first place for their music video entitled "Drug Free State of Mind." MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation cosponsored the contest, in collaboration with NIDA. NIDA is accepting entries for this year's contest until October 10, 2011.
Further information about National Drug Facts Week events is available at drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov. The next National Drug Facts Week will begin October 31, 2011.