By: Stephanie Yau and Dheeksha Sudhakar, Incorruptible.Us Students From South Brunswick High School
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) is an annual, week-long observance to encourage more conversations about the effects of drugs and alcohol especially on teenagers. The week brings awareness of many misconceptions and myths that teens have on alcohol and other drugs. This is an important topic for teenagers especially, due to the effects of drugs on the teenage brain. Drugs can mainly affect three vital parts of the brain; the brain stem, cerebral cortex and the limbic system, which are all vital in everyday activities.
When Was NDAFW Established?
This program was created by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2010 to create educational events to talk about this issue. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) partnered in creating this event in 2016, adding alcohol as an important discussion during the week.
What Does NDAFW Do?
Every year, NDAFW tries to bring awareness and teach teens about the costs of drug and alcohol use at a young age. This year, from Monday, March 22nd to Sunday, March 28th, schools and communities across the nation are working together to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs and drug use.
How Can You Get Involved?
There are many ways you can get involved and be a part of this important movement. There are local events you can find and encourage your community to attend. With over 1,400 registered events, you can view the event map to find locations near you.
In New Jersey, The Coalition for Healthy Communities and Wellspring Center for Prevention will be hosting several social media events throughout the week in collaboration with our coalition partners. The SUDS (Stopping Underage Drinking by Students) group from Dunellen will be proving a peer-to-peer presentation to all the third-grade students who attend Faber School. There are tons of other centers doing social media campaigns, presentations in health classes, and holding community events.
If you can't find an event near you, you can always plan your own event with adult and teen organizers. After registering the event with the National Institute of Health, you can promote your event to your community. Spreading the word about these events is key to teaching more teens and parents about the dangers and long term effects of drug and alcohol use. Your involvement could help shape people's lives!