National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is taking place this year from January 22nd-28th. This national observance empowers teens to challenge myths about drugs by learning and applying pertinent facts and resources. Launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week connects teens with the most current research on substance use and addiction to help them understand the importance of resisting peer and cultural pressure to engage in underage drinking and drug use.

Check out these top 10 myths and truths about drugs provided by the United States Government, Drug Enforcement Administration:

Myth – Marijuana is harmless.

TRUTH – Marijuana smokers risk the same health problems as tobacco smokers: bronchitis, emphysema, and bronchial asthma. They also experience lack of coordination, memory problems, and poor concentration.

Myth – Using drugs doesn’t change the brain.

TRUTH – Drugs change the brain, and this can lead to abuse, addiction, and other very serious physical and neurological (mind) problems.

Myth – Legal drugs are helpful; illegal drugs are harmful.

TRUTH – It doesn’t matter whether a drug is legal or illegal because all drugs can be abused. Even if a federally regulated drug is considered “safe,” misuse and abuse of this drug can still have harmful effects.

Myth – Parents don’t have any influence over a teen’s use of marijuana.

TRUTH – Marijuana use occurs less often among teens who think their parents would strongly disapprove of their trying marijuana once or twice (2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health).

Myth – Using drugs is a normal part of growing up and experimentation is harmless.

TRUTH – The majority of teens reject drugs. According to a national survey, 79 percent of 8thgraders report NOT ever using illicit drugs (Monitoring the Future, 2010).

Myth – You can’t overdose on prescription drugs to get high the first time.

TRUTH – You can overdose on any drug even the first time you use it.

Myth – Many 8th graders abuse inhalants.

TRUTH – According to a national survey, almost 92 percent of 8th graders reported NOT using inhalants in the past year (Monitoring the Future, 2010).

Myth – Everybody is doing it!

TRUTH – Not “everybody” is doing it. In fact, most teens are not doing drugs. Those who do drugs do so infrequently, at parties or on occasion. Most teens do not drink or do drugs regularly.

Myth – It can’t hurt to try it just once.

TRUTH – It can hurt to try drugs. You may do something you regret while under the influence, you may get violent or become the victim of violence, you could get very sick and, in extreme cases, you may even die.

Myth – Drug use is voluntary . . . I can quit whenever I want!

TRUTH – It’s true that drug use is a choice at first, but over time, it alters the chemistry of the brain and body – resulting in a compulsive and uncontrollable need for the drug. Addiction is a serious side effect of drug abuse.

In recognition of this important observance, the DAPC is providing a free event to all community members:

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