IADDA Aims to Dispel Teen Marijuana, Other Drug Myths During National Drug Facts Week

Teen_Drug_Use(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association has partnered with the National Institute on Drug Abuse to dispel the ‘marijuana-is-safe’ myth and other drug misconceptions targeting youth during the 5th annual National Drug Facts Week.

IADDA will participate in a national health observance effort from January 26 to February 1, 2015, now in its fifth year, that spotlights National Drug Facts Week.

“National Drug Facts Week seeks to get the science out to teens about the effects of drug use on the brain, body, and behavior through community-based events and activities to help shatter their myths about drug abuse and addiction, and marijuana is at the top of the agenda,” said IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe.

IADDA and its signature programs, the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute and Operation Snowball will be the key groups leading the Illinois promotional efforts.

“Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute and Operation Snowball will be working with local youth, schools, and prevention coalitions to organize educational events or activities for teens that deliver real, factual information about drugs and drug abuse,” said Howe.

Howe cited a reversal of teen marijuana use trends since the 1990s as a cause for concern in the fight against drug abuse.

“Teen marijuana use has dropped dramatically since the late 1990s, but current statistics show that about 15 percent, or roughly 1 in 7 teens, report using marijuana in the past month,” said Howe. “This rate is up from a few years ago because fewer teens believe that marijuana is a harmful drug.”

In fact, Howe pointed to the serious risk of marijuana abuse and addiction by young people.

“In 2011, nearly 4.2 million people 12 and older were diagnosed with marijuana abuse or addiction,” said Howe. “National Drug Facts Week aims to dispel myths about marijuana and other drugs that are undermining communities and destroying lives.”

Questions? Contact drugfacts@nida.nih.gov

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