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MAY 2014

NIDA’s Fourth National Drug Facts Week Reaches Millions Nationwide!

Over 1,000 events in 50 states.

Teens Nationwide Shatter the Myths about Drug Abuse during NDFW
Teens joined with scientists nationwide at more than 1,000 local events conducted in all 50 states for the fourth annual National Drug Facts Week (NDFW), held from January 27 – February 2 this year. Through community‐based events and activities on the Web, on TV, and through local contests, teens were encouraged to get the facts from scientific experts about drugs and substance abuse. Promotional media activities surrounding the week reached more than 50 million people via traditional and social media platforms.

Message from the Office of Science Policy and Communications Director Dr. Jack Stein

What is National Drug Facts Week?
National Drug Facts Week logo
NDFW, a week-long observance that links teens with experts who can give them factual information and dispel the myths about drugs and drug abuse, was inspired by the success of NIDA’s Drug Facts Chat Day, which began in 2007. Each year, NIDA scientists receive thousands of questions via a live Web chat from teens at registered schools across the country. In response to this demonstrated interest by teens to get the scientific facts about drugs, NIDA developed NDFW, asking teens, schools, and community groups all over America to hold their own “Q and A” events with local experts. Read press release ⇒

Did you take the Drug IQ Challenge?
Drug IQ Challenge logo
As part of the week’s activities, each year NIDA develops a “National Drug IQ Challenge,” a 12-question, multiple-choice quiz that teens and adults take to test their knowledge about drugs. To date, nearly 30,000 people have taken the 2014 IQ Challenge! This year, the Drug IQ Challenge was interactive, with videos of NIDA scientists discussing the answers to each question. View video ⇒

Over 1,000 NDFW Community Events Held, Doubling Last Year’s Number
Map of events
The number of NDFW events doubled this year, with more than 1,000 locations in all 50 states across the country (view map). At the events, teens asked questions of addiction scientists, clinicians, or educators familiar with NIDA’s scientific materials. Events were sponsored by a variety of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs, book clubs, and local hospitals. Check out photos from the events on our Flickr page and videos from events, including a teen dance from students at James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring, MD.

Highlights of Local Events:

Dr. Ruben Baler

Dr. Ruben Baler speaking at the Mentor Event

The Mentor Foundation — Washington, DC
The Mentor Foundation, in partnership with NIDA and other key groups, hosted a Youth Drug Facts Rally at the House of Sweden on January 30th. Approximately 200 students from five local high schools interacted with top scientific experts and inspiring guest speakers to shatter the myths about drugs and substance abuse and pledge to stay drug-free. The students also participated in poetry workshops led by the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team, where they expressed their feelings and thoughts about drugs and substance abuse. Keynote speakers included: Deputy Director David Mineta, Office of National Drug Control Policy; Dr. Lonise Bias, mother of the late Len Bias; NIDA’s Dr. Ruben Baler; Yvonne Thunell, Chairman, Mentor Foundation USA; and Donna Rattley, Washington, Regional Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, Comcast.

National 4-H Council — Chevy Chase, MD
4-H Event banner
The National 4-H Council held a Drug Facts Day at their headquarters in Chevy Chase, MD on January 30 for representatives of their Health Rocks!© sites. Speakers included Deputy Director David Mineta (ONDCP) and NIDA’s Brian Marquis. Drs. Ruben Baler and Sheri Grabus answered questions from Youth Ambassadors at the event. Other events included: a public forum for teens to provide awareness and preventative strategies regarding tobacco and alcohol use. Health Rocks and other Healthy Lifestyle 4-H Programs also gave out information on alternatives to risky behaviors.

Great Onyx Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center — Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
The Great Onyx Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center
The Great Onyx Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center organized an assembly of students and staff on January 31 to listen to a presentation on the facts about illicit drugs, prescription/medical drugs, mental health, vocational health and employment, and law enforcement issues. Three contests (poster, essay, and poem) were also held to help teens learn about addiction and drug abuse. A media advisory was distributed to local print and broadcast reporters to encourage them to cover the event.

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Drug Demand Reduction Program – Yuma, Arizona
NDFW Sign signed by teens

NDFW banner by teens from Yuma High School

Marines and DDRP staff

Marines and DDRP staff visiting Gila Ridge High School

In Yuma, Arizona on January 27, the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma's Drug Demand Reduction Program (DDRP) set up a drug information booth in six different high schools in the Yuma Union High School District to distribute pamphlets about drugs. Visiting one high school per day, the DDRP staff, accompanied by active duty Marines who held the position as Substance Abuse Control Officers and the high school's Resource Officers, engaged more than 1,000 students. Raffles and other items, including anti-drug information, were given out at each site, and a banner was displayed that students could sign, pledging to be “drug free.” Read article ⇒

NDFW “Pic of the Week”
Teens from Friends and Family United, Inc.

Teens from Friends and Family United, Inc. celebrate National Drug Facts Week

Every Wednesday, NIDA features a “Picture of the Week” from NDFW highlighting organizations and events around the nation who supported NDFW. Family and Friends United, Inc. was the first organization to be featured. In addition to sending a personal email to the organization, NIDA also posts the picture on its website and promotes it through its social media channels. View Tweet ⇒ | View Facebook post ⇒

NIDA Creates Promotional Tools for Event Holders

Webinar banner
Shatter the Myths cover

NIDA created an event toolkit to provide adult advisors, teens, and their sponsoring organizations with information on how to create an event, publicize it, identify a scientific expert, and find information on drugs. The toolkit included the National Drug IQ Challenge, the Drugs: Shatter the Myths brochure and other relevant materials.

  • NEW! New this year, Ogilvy Public Relations hosted a webinar on January 15 in an effort to help event holders with local media promotion. The webinar equipped NDFW event hosts across the country with media relations tools/tips, including how to create messaging to encourage media interest, as well as how to promote the events through social media outreach such as Facebook and Twitter. Over three dozen event holders listened in and/or asked for copies of the presentation.
  • Drugs and Your Body
  • NEW! NIDA and Scholastic, Inc.’s Heads Up Series created a new interactive website, Drugs + Your Body: It Isn’t Pretty, designed for grades 7-12 that used graphics, videos, and quizzes to demonstrate the harmful effects of drugs on the brain and body. NIDA’s tweet about the Scholastic website was the top performing tweet of the week with 21 retweets and six favorites.

Key Partners Helped Spread the Word about NDFW
Do Something and MTV logos
NIDA worked with many partners to help extend outreach about NDFW, including federal, state, and local agencies, as well as media companies and organizations like Mentor and Natural High, which produced NDFW branded videos from celebrities including Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton and Team USA Gymnast & Gold Medalist Jordyn Weiber, among others. Three key partners who helped promote NDFW were, MTVAct, and Dr. Phil, all of whom posted drug facts content on their websites and provided social media support. View the list of partners ⇒

NDFW Media Highlights
National Drug Facts Week was highlighted across the nation via proclamations, blogs, videos, posters, tweets, Facebook posts, and via other websites. View the 2014 highlights ⇒

NIDA Scientists Break Record for Number of Schools Registered for Chat Day
Chat Day photo

NIDA scientists and science writers hard at work during the ten-hour long 2014 Drug Facts Chat Day, held at NSC this year.

Over 100 schools were registered for NIDA’s annual Drug Facts Chat Day which was held on January 28, with NIH scientists participating in a live, Web-based Q&A, answering close to 2,000 questions! Guest scientists were invited from NIMH, NIAAA, and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. The majority of questions asked by the students were related to marijuana and alcohol. Special thanks to Brandon White and his Chat Day IT team for assembling more than 50 computers, keeping them operating for 10 hours straight, and disassembling them — all within a 24 hour time frame. The next Chat Day is January 30, 2015! NIDA’s Josie Anderson interviewed staff and students from Walter Johnson High School in Rockville, MD. View videos ⇒ | View Chat Day 2014 transcript ⇒ | FAQs from Chat Day ⇒

Make Music Contest logo

Winners of 2014 Teens! Make Music Contest Announced
The Partnership at, the GRAMMY Foundation®, and MusiCares® announced the winners of the 2014 Teens! Make Music contest which NIDA highlighted on its website during NDFW. View press release ⇒

Mark your calendars for next year!
National Drug Facts Week will be held
January 26 - February 1, 2015!

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