National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week ~ #NDAFW


It seems like there’s something in the news every week about drugs and alcohol, be it the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic, the debate about the legalization of marijuana, or a story about a crash caused by a drunk driver. Our impressionable teens are inundated with this stuff more so than we are, since they’re up against peer pressure in addition to everything coming at them through the media.


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse. All opinions are 100% mine.


National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) runs January 22nd through the 28th this year, and its sole purpose is to bring teens and experts together to debunk myths about substance use and addiction. Because teens get a lot of misinformation online, on TV, in movies, through music and friends, there’s a lot of damage to undo in only one week’s time. Community-based, SHATTER THE MYTHS® events taking place during NDAFW create a safe place for teens to ask questions about drug and alcohol use, without judgment or lectures.


You can get involved in a few really easy ways. Start by downloading the Drugs: Shatter the Myths booklet for free. It answers teens’ most frequently asked questions and shares insight on both drug and alcohol facts.

A more interactive resource is the “National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge.” It’s a 12-question, multiple choice quiz that anyone can take to test his or her knowledge about drugs. Take it for yourself, and use the results to start a conversation with your teen. I thought I knew it all, yet I scored an 8 out of 12. I actually was happy to learn I was wrong about a few things, like the number of teens drinking alcohol these days. Still other answers were a little discouraging and proved I need to brush up on my facts!


The “Family Checkup” resource is really helpful and covers any wall you may come up against when communicating with your teen. It gives parents research-based skills to help keep kids drug-free. It’s comprised of several questions like, “Are you able to calmly set limits when your teen is defiant?” If your answer is no, the site gives you tons of practical advice (including videos) for how to stay calm and successfully set limits.

Here are a few Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know:

Teens are more likely to use marijuana than cigarettes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most high school seniors don’t see marijuana use as being very harmful, but they disapprove of using it regularly.

Nearly 1 in 3 high school seniors say they’ve used e-vaporizers in the past year, raising concerns about long-term health effects.


Misuse of all prescription opioids among 12th graders has dropped dramatically, despite high overdose rates in adults.

What to do if your teen has a problem with drugs:
If you think your teen has a problem with drugs or alcohol, ask a professional for help. You can either bring your child to a doctor to be screened for signs of drug use and related health conditions (verify that the doctor is skilled in these areas before making the appointment.), or you can contact an addiction specialist directly.  There are 3,500 board-certified physicians who specialize in addiction in the United States. Click here to find one near you.

Photos are clickable. 
Take the National Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge

Learn more about National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

Visit Sponsors Site

Annmarie John
86 Comments

86 comments:

  1. Definitely agree that there needs to be an open line of communication with parents and teens on drug use. So, appreciate your checklist inclusion, as well as tips here, too.

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    1. You're very welcome and I agree. I think that most parents aren't good at communicating which is where the breakdown happens.

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  2. This is something that we, as parents, should never shy away from this issue, even though some of us do. As kids get older, they are exposed to more and more situations like this.

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    1. That is very true. I live in a state where marijuana is legal and I've already done the talk with my own kids.

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  3. One of the most important things we can do as parents is educate our kids AND ourselves about drugs and alcohol. None of us want to be the parents at a rehab center saying, "I didn't know."

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    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. You can't teach your kids if you don't know anything yourself. Education is key!

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  4. My kids are starting to get into the pre-teen stage and I'm a little worried about the drugs and alcohol as they get older. I think there needs to be open communication to help them make smart choices.

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    1. Yes there does need to be open communication. Don't wait until they get too old before you start talking to them. They can understand you even now.

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  5. This issue is of growing concern. We do live in a state where marijuana is legal but candidly vaping is a bigger issue. Also I just learned about an issue with kids eating Tide pods as a ‘thing’ on social media. Disturbing.

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    1. Oh I just learned about that as well recently from my own child. I wouldn't have thought that would be a "thing" but it only goes to show that kids can be so easily influenced. That's why we need to talk to them.

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  6. I think this is a great initiative, to debunk myths that kids may have heard, and to educate them. Wonderful post, and thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're very welcome and believe it or not, it's not just the kids who need to debunk the myths, most parents don't know what's real either.

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  7. It is scary to think how awful this epidemic has gotten. Where are programs like they had when I was in school? We had a program called DARE (Drugs, Alcohol, Resistance, Education) It was amazing. It was something that we did once a month every year in middle school.

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    1. I grew up on DARE and my eldest daughter had that at her school as well. With marijuana becoming legal in more states, it seems as though they're dumbing down what's happening.

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  8. Awesome tips! It is scary what kids get their hands on nowadays. I think we should be more vigilant in knowing the signs.

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    1. Knowing the signs is surely one way, but before your child even gets involved, it's up to us to talk to them to ensure that they don't even begin.

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  9. These are some interesting statistics. My daughter is 16 and I know she has already been faced with alcohol and marijuana at parties. I hope we have stressed the dangers and she has listened to us.

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    1. That's usually where it starts, at parties. I'm happy that you've talked to your daughter, because it does start with that talk.

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  10. I didn't know this was National drug and alcohol facts week! This is a great thing because so many young, impressionable minds give into drugs and it can be avoided with events like this. The media definitely affects teenagers drug habits these days.

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    1. It sure has. I've listened to a few rap songs that makes it sound cool to do drugs and the kids look up to these "people". We have to let them know that it's definitely "not cool".

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  11. Ug, my kids are babies, but it's so scary thinking of everything that's out there! Glad there are such great resources for parents.

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    1. Yes I'm happy that there is too. Hopefully when the time comes for you to speak to your children, you'll be prepared with the facts.

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  12. There is a lot of teen drug use in my town. I have already started talking with my kids about how dangerous it is.

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    1. That's very scary and I'm happy to hear that you've started talking to your boys about it. I hope they're listening to you.

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  13. These are all important points and so they make great conversation starters to have with your kids in order to get the discussion going. I believe that it's all about awareness!

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    1. It really is about awareness, awareness on both the part of parent and kids. However it's the parents job to instill that awareness.

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  14. They did a really good job at educating us about this when I was a kid. Glad they did too. These facts are interesting

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    1. They really did, but it seems as though they're not doing as good a job with the younger generation as they did with us.

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  15. I don't have teens yet but I'm definitely going to do this. It's really important that we talk to them about drug use and its effects. As a mom, this is one of my concerns and I'm glad you're sharing this.

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    1. As parents it's most of our concern. I've already done the talk with my kids as I live in a state that has marijuana use that's legal.

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  16. Drug use and drinking alcohol are definitely issues that needs to be discussed with the kids. I think it's great that you're raising awareness on this and I like the fact that parents can take an IQ challenge for this too. Knowledge on issues like these are vital.

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    1. Yes I agree, both need to be discussed with kids. They're usually influenced by their friends and usually at parties, having that talk to them will at least give them a head start in saying no.

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  17. The tough part of raising teens in today's world, keeping up on all of this stuff. Thankfully they both seem to be keeping me in the loop about their life so far.

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    1. Well this is something that you need to be on top of as a parent. Sure they can keep you in the loop about what's going on in their lives, but that talk needs to be initiated by you.

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  18. This is such an important topic. You are right in saying that it is much more in the forefront than it has ever been. I wonder if we have a nation facts week here? Either way I will be sharing this post with friends who have teens. I am far from those years but it is definitely something that needs to be discussed.

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    1. Well when that time comes, I hope that you will be ready for the talk with your own teens, although it's never too early for the talk.

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  19. Man there are so many things kids face. I didn't realize that kids have started to use vaporizers so much!

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    1. Kids are using things that we never thought that they would use. Who knew that kids would even be sniffing glue?

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  20. I've never really dealt with drugs and alcohol myself or with kids. But it's amazing how miss informed we are. We definitely need a change in perspective on the subject.

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    1. I've never had a problem myself either, and I'm hoping that my kids won't have one either. While I don't mind my kids doing the occasional drink, drinking to excess is a no-no.

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  21. What a great tool for parents of teens to utilize and help open up dialogue on the dangers of drug use. Judging from the amount of teens that I see sitting outside the high school smoking like they don't have a care in the world, I think this is something that all parents need to take a closer look at with their children.

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    1. It really is. I wonder when it became cool to smoke or do drugs? Seems like kids need more guidance now than they did when we were younger.

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  22. These are some really important topics to create awareness about. I'm not a parent but I can only imagine how challenging it can be to cover these topics with teens!

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    1. Just think about how it was when your own parent spoke to you about drugs and alcohol. When it's time for you to do the talk, I'm sure you'll be fine.

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  23. This is really great information. A lot of people neglect the real facts.

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    1. That is true. It's either they neglect the facts, or maybe they didn't know it in the first place. Either way it's always a good idea to know what you're talking about.

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  24. This is a really good week to bring awareness to teens. I think the D.A.R.E program stopped in middle school when I was growing up but I dont think they stay consistent with the teens thus how some kids get into drugs and alcohol more because of lack of knowledge.

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    1. It's really the lack of knowledge. To be honest, it was never the school's place to make sure that your child never does alcohol or drugs, its up to the parents, while the school can give an assistance.

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  25. It is some scary facts. I worry about my children and their future and I hope they continue to make good choices. However, it seems like I need to worry about my friends and peers just as much these days!

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    1. Its the one thing that we pray for, that our children will continue to make good choices and follow their principles.

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  26. With so many young children being involved in drugs and alcohol I agree that now more than ever it is so important to raise awareness of the dangers, especially as so many young children and teens die from substance abuse each year. Thank you for raising awareness we need more advocates like you.

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    1. You're very welcome. It's amazing how much younger they're also getting involved in drug abuse. Parents need to be more involved.

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  27. This is a difficult topic and the information you provided here will help many families find their way back to good health.

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    1. it is difficult but it's something that we need to address, especially since more and more of our youth are getting way over their head.

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  28. Every year in high school, we'd have a week about this, and I really think it's education that should be in all high schools!!

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    1. It really is. There used to be more programs but seems like there isn't as much as there used to be years ago.

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  29. we all need to be informed about this, so we can all do our part!

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    1. Yes we do, both parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, everyone! We all need to be informed so we can talk to our youth so they can then make informed decisions.

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  30. I'm so glad this conversation is starting to become more normalized. Parents are often at such a loss on what to do when their kids get into stuff like this.

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    1. And we want our kids to not even get into stuff like this in the first place. As they say "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" so do that talk!

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  31. I think it's important to talk to your teens about both drug and alcohol, while also being realistic. You can't just say it's bad and leave it at that. You need an open and frank discussion to ensure they understand the consequences of their actions and also feel like they can talk to you if they have questions or concerns.

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    1. I think that's the problem, opening up that line of communication. Making sure that our kids feel comfortable enough to talk to us, and us talking to our children.

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  32. This is wonderful! I think it is so important to talk to our kids about drugs and alcohol. There is some really awesome resources here

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    1. It is important, but if we aren't informed and know what we're talking about, then we won't be able to have a discussion with our kids with the facts.

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  33. This is a great PSA! You're right. It seems like every week there is a new drug of choice. Although, I think the opiod problem will be around for a while.

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    1. I think so too and it would be nice if it's eradicated, but I don't see it happening soon. That's why we need to talk to our kids now.

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  34. I had a problem with alcohol and drugs in high school. It made me be very open with my kids about it. They have never touched either, no have they wanted to.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story, and because of your experience you're able to now talk to your own children. That's great!

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  35. I had no idea this was even a thing. This is such a great way to focus on sharing knowledge to help your kids know why to say NO...

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    1. It's always good to explain to them whey they shouldn't do it, instead of just saying straight out NO.

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  36. My sons classmates all use e-vapes. It really makes me wonder. He came home telling me they don’t have this or that in them - I had to show him actual facts to debunk what these kids had told him. Now he thinks these kids are crazy for even bothering with them. It’s important to really be honest and open, even about myths and make sure kids are informed. - Jeanine

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    1. That is very true Jeanine. Most kids are so misinformed and it's up to us as parents to let them know the truth. Glad to hear that you were able to inform your kids about the truth on e-vapes.

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  37. Education at home is very vital for teens, especially in keeping them away from being illegal drugs addiction. I truly agree with all you're saying here.

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    1. It really all begins at home. If we start talking to our kids now rather than later, it will help them in their decisions.

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  38. I have been watching Live PD and there are so many overdoses that take place on that show. One guy did three times in two weeks.

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    1. I've never seen the show but I have heard of it. I can't believe he would OD 3 times in 2 weeks. The first time should have been a heads up that something was wrong.

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  39. This is great. We don't drink in our home and our daughters have very rarely even seen us with a beer or glass of wine. While I think that's great, I also know our oldest is very naive because it's not a topic we discuss in our home. This would be a great way to really gauge what she does know from her peers.

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    1. And this is a way to begin that talk. My parents never drank, but I had my first drink in college. Drank until I was stupid drunk. Never really drank again, but every once in a while I'll have a glass of wine. I made sure I spoke to my daughter before she headed off to college about the dangers.

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  40. Angela Ricardo BetheaJanuary 25, 2018 at 8:22 AM

    That community-based events which took place will really be a nice and effective way to open the mind, the eyes, and the heart of the teens for them to be aware and creates less confusion about the matter and that can save their lives and future.

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    1. It is an effective way to open their eyes, but sometimes it isn't enough. You also have to do your part as a parent.

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  41. I am so dreading the days when I have to start thinking of drug use with my teens. As I am not focused on that yet, I honestly haven't really put much thought into the epidemics affecting so many when it comes to drug use. Thanks for reminding me that it is something to think about.

    thrifting diva
    www.thriftingdiva.com

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    1. You're very welcome. I think most parents think the way you do, "well my kids are young and I have time to do the talk with them about drug use and alcohol". However, you'd be surprised at home much our children already know.

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  42. It terrifies me, just because I don't do ANYTHING and I know I'm not the norm. My four siblings proved that to me in high school. It's never too early to educate yourself and kids. I'm happy you wrote about the topic!

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    1. You're right Tamara, it's never too early. Madison knows that it's not OK to drink too much. While I haven't spoken to her about drug use, she does know about alcohol and that cigarettes aren't good for you. I plan on doing the talk before she's a teenager, just because marijuana is legal here.

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  43. Great information! My twins are now teens, and we've been having conversations like with this. While I want to believe that they will not go down this path, they need to know the facts. You're right-- it's never too early to have this conversation. Thank you for spreading awareness!

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    1. Because I live in a state where marijuana is legal, I had to have the talk with my kids a bit earlier than most. I would like to think that they listened to me, and they seem to have their heads on right, but I'm always here for them to talk to whenever they want to. I like to keep our line of communication open.

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