NASHVILLE –The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is encouraging teenagers, educators and parents across the state to participate in National Drug Facts Week Monday, January 26 through Sunday, February 1. It’s an opportunity for teenagers to promote and participate in activities to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse.
“Many of our teenagers in Tennessee experiment with drugs and aren’t aware of the risks,” said E. Douglas Varney, TDMHSAS Commissioner. “About a third of high school seniors across the country report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than ten percent report using a narcotic painkiller. National Drug Facts Week is an opportunity for them to learn what science has taught us about drug abuse and addiction.”
Teenagers in several regions across Tennessee have already joined forces with other teens and scientists to get the facts about drugs.
National Drug Facts Week Events in Tennessee
Johnson City – Science Hill High School – Alternative Center hosting five events featuring class instruction, poster contest and exhibits, Jan. 26 – 30.
Chattanooga – Hamilton County Coalition is hosting two events, including a video presentation and discussion on Thursday, January 29.
Memphis – Concord Academy Inc. is hosting a school assembly which will include a student-made video and guest speaker.
“I urge more schools and organizations that engage with teens to consider hosting an event during National Drugs Facts Week,” said Commissioner Varney. “This is a chance for teens to get honest answers about drugs so they can make good, informed decisions for themselves and share accurate information with friends. I encourage Tennessee teens to host an event and go online to National Drug Facts Week to ask questions about drugs and to get scientific answers from the experts. ”
National Drug Facts Week was launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To counter the myths they get from the internet, TV, movies, music, or from friends, NIDA scientists want to encourage events in communities so teens learn what science has taught us about drug abuse and addiction.
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is to plan for and promote the availability of a comprehensive array of quality prevention, early intervention, treatment, habilitation and rehabilitation services and supports based on the needs and choices of individuals and families served.
For more information, visit http://www.tn.gov/mental.