TULSA, OK – [January 19, 2017] – National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) is January 23 – 29, and the Tulsa Health Department’s Regional Prevention Coordinator program encourages local schools to get involved.
This national health observance 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. NDAFW celebrates the inquisitive minds of teens by giving them a space (virtual or physical) to ask questions about drugs and alcohol and to get scientific answers from experts.
“We urge schools, youth organizations, faith-based and health organizations, and parents to work to dispel myths and misconceptions about drugs and alcohol,” said Marianne Long, Tulsa Health Department’s RPC program manager. “The NDAFW website has great tools and free resources including lesson plans, online activities, games and printable materials. They also offer ideas on activities and everything you need to plan, promote, and host an event.”
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about a third of high school seniors across the country report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than ten percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller. While drugs can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy, many teens are not aware of the risks. Even for those teens who do not abuse drugs, many have friends or family who do, and they are often looking for ways to help them.
“We want teens to have the opportunity to learn what science has taught us about drug abuse, alcohol, and addiction,” said Long. “There are so many myths about drugs and alcohol cluttering our popular culture. National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week is for teens to get honest answers about drugs so they can make good, informed decisions for themselves and share accurate information with friends.”
Regional Prevention Coordinators
Regional Prevention Coordinators is a grant funded program established to reduce the rates for underage drinking, adult binge drinking, and the non-medical use of painkillers within Tulsa County. The work of RPC is concentrated on population-level change in Tulsa County by assisting communities in determining the substance abuse problems affecting their constituents and the most effective strategies to address these problems. RPC works with local coalitions and stakeholders to gather data, track trends, and provide training and technical assistance within the community. Additionally, RPC provides support for town hall meetings and assists with local alcohol compliance operations. For more information regarding the RPC program at the Tulsa Health Department, please visit www.tulsa-health.org.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week®
NDAFW 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. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner starting in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health.