En español



Quick Links

National Drug Facts Week

January 27, 2014

Drug Facts logo

This week—January 27 through February 2—is the fourth annual National Drug Facts Week. Every year since 2010, NIDA has sponsored this observance, during which schools and other community organizations host events to share and spread the science on drugs and drug abuse to teenagers. 

The motto of NDFW is “shatter the myths.” America’s teens are steeped in misinformation about drugs that comes not only from their peers but also from the media. In music and movies and on TV, substance use and abuse are often glorified, and even addictions are frequently turned into material for entertainment. Positive, healthy messages are few and far between, and real science about the issue is seldom seen or heard. It is crucial to get communities involved in countering this and disseminating accurate information.

According to the most recent Monitoring the Future survey, over 40 percent of high school seniors reported using an illegal drug at some point in the past year; 15 percent reported abusing a prescription drug; and nearly 23 percent reported smoking marijuana in the past month. Nearly 7 percent of seniors said they smoke marijuana regularly.

Marijuana is of course on people’s minds these days, and we know that use of that drug is related to perceptions of its safety. A growing percentage of adolescents see marijuana as harmless, possibly being influenced by all the public debate around legalization and the contentious issue of “medical marijuana.” (Attaching the word “medical” to a drug makes it seem like it couldn’t be bad for you.) These young people are unaware of the negative effects marijuana can have on the developing brain and on their long-term well-being.

Students at the National Drug Facts Week assembly for the South Central SADD organization in Greenwich, Ohio. Students at the National Drug Facts Week assembly for the South Central SADD organization in Greenwich, Ohio.

I am also concerned with the increased abuse of prescription stimulants by young people who don’t have ADHD, both to get high and in the mistaken belief that these medications will boost their school performance.

In school and athletic events and other settings, NDFW brings teens together with scientists, to facilitate honest dialogue about drugs (including tobacco and alcohol as well as illicit and prescription drugs) and how they affect the brain, body, and behavior. Nearly 1,000 events in all 50 states are currently registered. One of the highlights of the week is a day-long online chat on Tuesday, January 28 between teens and NIDA scientists—who will be joined also by specialists on tobacco from the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, experts on alcohol abuse from NIAAA, and staff from NIMH who can answer teens’ questions on depression and other mental health issues. Students from 100 participating high schools around the country will post their questions and see them answered in real time by the experts. Anyone can follow the chat transcript at https://www.nidachat.org/publicchat.aspx

I am excited about any opportunity to share the science of drug abuse and the brain with the public—especially young people, whose brains and behavior are in a position to be shaped by the knowledge we provide. This year, I hope we reach and affect more teens than ever before. For more information, including a list of events around the country, please visit the NDFW website: http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/

This page was last updated January 2014


This post is an inspiration,

This post is an inspiration, event like this really makes a lot of difference in our society. Hope there will be more events like this in order to inform people, especially the younger ones. In order to increase their awareness, so that they can say no to drugs. Thanks a lot for this amazing post.

Find Help Near You

The following website can help you find substance abuse or other mental health services in your area: www.samhsa.gov/find-treatment. If you are in an emergency situation, people at this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: 1-800-273-TALK. Or click on: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgExternal link, please review our disclaimer.. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member on our Treatment page.

Get this Publication

    Cite this article

    NIDA. (2014, January 27). National Drug Facts Week. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2014/01/national-drug-facts-week

    press ctrl+c to copy

    Dr. Nora Volkow: Remarks and Video Highlights

    APA 2015 meeting

    • Marijuana as a Cure for Opioid Use? Nation's Top Drug Scientist Says She's Skeptical, March 2019
    • Meet the Woman Leading the Nation's War on Addiction, October 2018
    • Aspen Ideas Festival 2018: Shining Light on Less Visible Prescription Drug Epidemics, June 2018
    • Dr. Nora Volkow on Addiction: A Disease of Free Will, May 2015
    • TEDMED, January 2015
      Why do our brains get addicted?
    • The World Science Festival, April 2014
      The Moth: The Brain's Addiction - Nora Volkow
    • CBS 60 Minutes, April 2012
      Hooked: Why Bad Habits Are Hard to Break 

    About This Blog

    Welcome to my blog, here I highlight important work being done at NIDA and other news related to the science of drug use and addiction.

    Receive Nora’s Blog Articles in your Email!
    You will only receive messages related to Nora’s Blog