Why do people take drugs if they know they’re bad? Is vaping bad even if it's just flavoring? Can you get addicted to ADHD medication? The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) seek to provide us answers to questions like these and more during National Drug and Alcohol Facts week.
This year marks the 11th annual National Drug and Alcohol Facts week (NDAFW) - an initiative hosted by the NIAAA and the NIDA. With almost 2,000 events happening across the world, NDAFW is one of the largest efforts dedicated to education on this topic. PATH believes firmly in the value of education as a tool for growth and progress with teens - inside and outside of the classroom. Therefore this week is special to us as an opportunity to get more folks talking about the science based realities of addiction and how we can address the issue within our communities. PATH’s website is a great place to start seeking out resources on drug and alcohol abuse, but be sure to check out the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website for teens for information specific to NDAFW as well The Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge found there is a fun way to test your knowledge on the topic. Try and beat my score - I got all but one right on my first try!!
So, as for those introductory questions? We know there are many reasons that people take drugs even when they are aware of the consequences, such as peer pressure, or because they perceive drugs as an escape from their problems. Yes, vaping can still be harmful to your body even if it is seen as just flavoring - many flavors still contain harmful and addictive chemicals. And lastly, ADHD medication is safe when taken as directed but like many other prescriptions can be harmful when used improperly. We encourage you to start these conversations with your teens and to look into the facts for yourself to make sure you know how to answer these types of questions as they arise. Having conversations with the teens in your life about drug and alcohol abuse could be a crucial step in preventing a lifetime of struggle with addiction. Events being hosted by PATH and other organizations that share our mission are a great way of furthering your family’s knowledge on the dangers of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
A Positive Approach to Teen Health (P.A.T.H) is a 501(c)3 organization that reaches seven counties throughout Northwest Indiana. Since 1993, A Positive Approach to Teen Health has been working to empower teens to make healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, and violence.