BLOG: National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week – January 23-29, 2017

Categories: Blog, Featured News

Teens-school-FT-NewsCan you answer these commonly asked questions about alcohol and drugs?

• What is the chemical in the marijuana plant that causes the “high”?
• How do inhalants affect the brain?
• What are “dissociative drugs”?
• How does alcohol affect the teenage brain?

Most teens are savvy researchers, using their iPhones to search the Internet (and their friends) for information. However, youth are not always able to determine what is “fact” and what is “fiction.” Would you know how to help your teen identify the myths from the facts regarding alcohol and drugs and guide them to accurate, science-based resources?

What is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week? It’s hard to keep on top of the updated research. And that is why the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) created National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week in 2010 to empower teens to “shatter the myths” that swirl around alcohol and drugs. NIDA scientists wanted to connect students with experts to counteract the false information about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the Internet, social media, TV, movies, music and their friends. Youth are encouraged to plan educational events in their communities so that teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. Encourage your teen to explore the NIDA website » for information created especially to help teens “shatter the myths” as well as understand the science of addiction and how drugs affect the brain and the body. Adults also need to “shatter the myths” as well and explore the sections designed to assist teachers and parents to better support and inform their teens.

Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day Students are encouraged to participate in the annual Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day », held this year on Thursday, January 26, 2017. This live, online chat gives students from around the country the opportunity to ask the questions they want answered about drugs and drug abuse: What are the effects of drugs? How can I help friends or family that are abusing drugs? What causes addiction? NIDA scientists are online to provide teens with the facts.

Stark County Youth Led Prevention SCYLP members have created opportunities for the community to learn more about drugs and alcohol during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. Check out the interactive bulletin board in the youth department at the Stark County District Library’s downtown location ». Test your understanding of what is fact and what is a myth. And listen to PSAs » created by SCYLP members that highlight facts that all teens (and parents) need to know about drug and alcohol use in Stark County.

2017 National Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge Remember those four questions from the top of the page? Those are actual questions from the 2017 National Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge ». Teens and adults can test their knowledge about drugs, alcohol and drug abuse by taking the interactive quiz. There are ten quiz questions and two bonus “Brainiac” questions, designed to provide science-based facts, correct misinformation and motivate students to learn more. Why not challenge yourself and the teens that you care about to take the online quiz together? Compare your answers, talk about what you know or don’t know and check out StarkMHAR and Drug Free Stark County’s prevention webpages » for local resources and prevention strategies that you can use today and “shatter the myths”!

About Fran Gerbig

Fran Gerbig, MPH, OCPS I, is the Health and Wellness Manager for Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. In this position, she manages the efforts of Drug Free Stark County as it works to develop and implement environmental strategies as well as community education efforts to prevent the use alcohol, tobacco products and other drugs among Stark County youth and young adults. Gerbig holds a Masters of Public Health in health planning and administration from the University of Tennessee and a B.A. from the University of Akron. She is a member of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’s Prevention and Wellness Roundtable, the Statewide Prevention Coalition Association, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. Gerbig also serves on the Stark County Safe Communities Coalition, the Stark County Family Council Ohio Children’s Trust Fund Committee, the Health Stability Impact Council of the United Way of Greater Stark County, the Sandy Valley Drug Awareness Initiative, YOUth Choose, SOLACE of Stark County and the Stark County Opiate Task Force.