This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse. All opinions are 100% mine.
Everyone’s relationship with their children is different. My kids know that I am here to listen and talk about just about any topic under the sun. Even the ones that make me squirm a little. Having an open, non-judgmental relationship like that makes talking to your teen easier, especially when it comes to topics like the truth about drugs & alcohol.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM
If you have been looking for an opening to have this discussion with your teen, now is your chance. National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) is an annual, week-long observance that brings together teens and scientific experts to shatter myths about substance use and addiction. This year NDAFW is January 23-29, 2017, and is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). They are both a part of the National Institutes of Health. NDAFW was launched in 2010 to counteract the myths about drugs & alcohol that teens often hear from the Internet, TV, movies, music, or friends. Since its inception, the number of community-based events held to SHATTER THE MYTHSTM,SM has grown dramatically. There were more than 2,000 held last January throughout all 50 states and several international sites. Events link teens with scientists and other experts. These events create a safe place for teens to ask questions about drug and alcohol use, without judgment or lectures.
The Truth About Drugs & Alcohol
There is nothing stronger than the truth, especially when it comes to discussing important topics like this with your kids. Be armed with the facts, or better yet take a look at the facts with your children. The results may surprise you. According to NIDA, prescription/over the counter drug use, cigarette use, and alcohol use is down among teens. Things to keep an eye out for right now are a rise in marijuana use and e-cigarette use. You can find out more drug and alcohol facts to talk about from NIDA.
National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge
One of the critical resources for NDAFW is the “National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge” – a 12-question multiple choice quiz that teens and adults can take to test their knowledge about drugs. Parents can take the IQ Challenge and share the results. This quiz is a great conversation starter to get your teen discussing the truth about drugs & alcohol.
The bottom line is NDAFW is an opportunity to open up the lines of communication between you and your children. You don’t need a particular week set aside to share the truth about drugs & alcohol. Let this be a guide to help you talk to your teen and get the facts you both need.