National Drug Facts Week
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We at Dothan Houston County Substance Abuse Partnership work for the benefit of area children by educating them on the dangers of alcohol, drugs and bullying. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction.

In the spirit of education and making area children prepared to make smart choices when it comes to alcohol,  tobacco and other drugs, we are celebrating National Drug Facts week. This year drug facts week will be January 22-26, 2018. I have attached a list of facts that we would   encourage you to include in morning announcements. This added education can make a difference in a child’s perception of harm and choice when presented with drugs. Thank you for your help in educating our youth.

K-5th grades

1/22/18: Drugs are chemicals that change the way a person's body works. You've probably heard that drugs are bad for you, but what does that mean and why are they bad? Medicines Are Legal Drugs. If you've ever been sick and had to take medicine, you already know about one kind of drugs. Medicines are legal drugs, meaning doctors are allowed to prescribe them for patients, stores can sell them, and people are allowed to buy them. But it's not legal, or safe, for people to use these medicines any way they want or to buy them from people who are selling them illegally. Only take medicines from people that your parents approve of.

1/23/18: Illegal drugs aren't good for anyone, but they are particularly bad for a kid or teen whose body is still growing. Illegal drugs can damage the brain, heart, and other important organs. Cocaine, for instance, can cause a heart attack — even in a kid or teen.

1/24/18: Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows function of the body. Alcohol actually blocks some of the messages trying to get to the brain. This alters a person's perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing.

1/25/18: Tobacco cigarettes are the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, and can cause cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. E-cigarettes, vape pens, and hookahs (water pipes), which have become popular in recent years, are filled with tobacco, nicotine, and other harmful chemicals. Chewing tobacco (smokeless or spit tobacco) can lead to nicotine addiction, oral cancer, gum disease, and an increased risk of heart disease, including heart attacks.

1/26/18: While using drugs, people are also less able to do well in school, sports, and other activities. It's often harder to think clearly and make good decisions. People can do dumb or dangerous things that could hurt them — or other people — when they use drugs.


Sites referenced:

6th-12th grade

1/22/18: Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States.

  • Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year, and cost the U.S. $24 billion in economic costs in 2010.
  • Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States.4 More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.
  • On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.
  • In 2010, there were approximately 189,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.

1/23/18: Preventing tobacco use among youth is critical to ending the tobacco epidemic in the United States.

  • Tobacco use is started and established primarily during adolescence.
    • Nearly 9 out of 10 cigarette smokers first tried smoking by age 18, and 99% first tried smoking by age 26.
    • Each day in the United States, more than 3,200 youth aged 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette, and an additional 2,100 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers.
  • Flavorings in tobacco products can make them more appealing to youth.
    • In 2014, 73% of high school students and 56% of middle school students who used tobacco products in the past 30 days reported using a flavored tobacco product during that time.

Youth use of tobacco in any form is unsafe.

If smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. That’s about 1 of every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger alive today.

1/24/18: Prescription drug misuse has become a large public health problem, because misuse can lead to addiction, and even overdose deaths. For teens, it is a growing problem:

  • After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly misused substances by Americans age 14 and older.
  • Teens misuse prescription drugs for a number of reasons, such as to get high, to stop pain, or because they think it will help them with school work.
  • Many teens get prescription drugs they misuse from friends and relatives, sometimes without the person knowing.
  • Boys and girls tend to misuse some types of prescription drugs for different reasons. For example, boys are more likely to misuse prescription stimulants to get high, while girls tend to misuse them to stay alert or to lose weight. 

1/25/18: Around 13% of people who start smoking pot as teenagers become dependent on it. Regular marijuana use can cause a drop in IQ of up to 8 points. Considering that nearly 3,300 teens try weed for the first time every day, it’s an undeniable problem that’s impacting high schoolers everywhere. According to one study, 12th graders who smoke marijuana are 65% more likely to crash their car. Among 12th graders in the U.S., one out of eight drove after smoking marijuana at some point in the last two weeks — one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking.


1/26/18: The Top Five Reasons for Teen Drug Abuse

  • Peer pressure and social influence
  • Escape or self-medication
  • Academic or performance pressure
  • Coping with trauma, anxiety, depression or another underlying mental health issue
  • Media influences: Studies show that teens who watch movies that depict smoking or alcohol consumption are more likely to engage in those behaviors themselves.

If you or someone you know is using drugs, get help today. 1 in 4 teenagers that experiment with drugs will be addicted as an adult. Ask your teacher, counselor, parent or an adult you trust about getting help today.


Sites referenced: › Alcohol & Public Health › Fact Sheets › Resources › Substance Abuse