Teenagers from the Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) have joined forces with other teens and scientists across the United States as part of “National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week” (NDAFW). The week-long health observance, organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health, takes place Monday, January 23rd through Sunday, January 29th. 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. As part of the NDAFW celebration, ASK volunteers created videos with important facts and information which will be shared across social media.
In the Town of Yorktown, about 12% of high school sophomores report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller within the past 30-days and almost 75% of high school seniors report that they have tried alcohol at some point in their lives. 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 Liz Talbert, Coalition Coordinator at ASK. “There are so many myths about drugs and alcohol cluttering our popular culture. National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM is for teens to get honest answers about drugs so they can make good, informed decisions for themselves and share accurate information with friends.”
“It feels great to be a part of a community that stand against the use of drugs and alcohol,” said Jack Tinari, Freshman at Yorktown High School. “It is very important to share information about what drugs can do to you. If we present the facts, we may be able to stop the use of drugs by teens.”
In Yorktown, students from Yorktown High School, Lakeland High School and Mahopac High School recorded short videos to share across social media during NDAFW. Each fact that is shared will be followed up with a blog post with more information. These short videos can be viewed at www.facebook.com/allianceforsafekids, www.twitter.com/ask_yorktown, and at www.allianceforsafekids.org.