Events coordinated by current and former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows contributed to the record number of events held around the world during the 2017 NIDA and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW). There was at least one event in each of the 50 U.S. states and in 17 countries. Participants represented countries of every size and income level, with more than 125 events held in Mexico and more than 50 in Burma (Myanmar). The international health information program supports locally planned and hosted school and community events that provide teens with scientific facts about drugs and alcohol. These local events use NIDA and NIAAA evidence—and free, downloadable materials—to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the Internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or friends.
In Burma (Myanmar), former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Yu Yu Aung, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., used both social and traditional media to promote 51 school and community programs staffed by youth volunteers and supported by national and regional government agencies, UNICEF, media outlets, and community youth groups. Current NIDA Humphrey Fellow Salman Shahzad, Ph.D., organized 3 days of events in rural Pakistan, including poster contests and lectures. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Valeriy Ryabukha, Ukraine, hosted 25 events and trained 50 substance abuse prevention trainers for 25 schools in the city of Chernihiv. In Mexico, former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Mariana Azcárraga, M.D., organized several NDAFW events in Mexico City, including participating in the online Chat Day, where high schools can register to have students submit questions to National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists. The 52 high schools that participated in Chat Day 2017 submitted nearly 10,000 questions to 60 scientists from NIDA, NIAAA, the National Institute of Mental Health, and other NIH Institutes. Other countries that organized NDAFW events included Cayman Islands, Colombia, Ghana, India, Italy, Kenya, Mariana Islands, Nigeria, South Africa, St. Maarten, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.
The 2018 event will be held January 22–28, 2018. For more information, see the NDAFW online guide.