Substance abuse among teens in North America is high, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse which is a component of the National Institutes of Health is trying to lower these rates each year with National Drug Facts Week. This year the event will start on January 26, 2015 and end on February 1, 2015. Teens and experts in the scientific community are brought together with the goal of increasing awareness and preventing substance abuse among teens. National Drug Facts Week has community based events, online access to web portals and substance abuse information for teens, and other resources. In 2014 the event sponsored over 1,000 community based events during the week, and reached many thousands of teens. The current rate of substance abuse among teens is unacceptable, and the events are designed to make teens think before they drink or do drugs and to provide the real facts behind substance abuse to dispel common myths.
According to Dr. Nora D. Volkow, who is the Director for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, explained why this week long event is so important and how it can lower substance abuse among teens. “National Drug Facts Week has been growing every year, from 92 events at its inception almost five years ago. This tells us how much teens – who are bombarded daily with misinformation about drugs – want science-based facts about drug use.” Michael Botticelli, the Acting Director of ONDCP, stated “President Obama’s vision is for all of America’s children to grow up in healthy and safe communities. This administration’s drug policy is based on neuroscience, and we are committed to informing young people and health care professionals about the negative consequences drug and alcohol use can have on their futures.”