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NIDA. (2011, October 20). Ignite Change in Your Community. Retrieved from

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Sara Bellum
October 20 2011
Photo of teens signing up to make a pledge

Change begins with just one small step. At NIDA, we are working to shatter the myths that some people believe about drug abuse and addiction. And we’re spreading the facts to help people make informed, healthy decisions. Did you know?:

  • Drugs mess with your brain’s wiring and signals.
  • Marijuana can be addictive.
  • Most people who start smoking in their teens become regular smokers before they’re 18.
  • Prescription drug abuse is drug abuse.
  • There is treatment—and it works.

NIDA wants your help to spread these facts! For the second annual National Drug Facts Week (October 31 through November 6, 2011), teens, parents, teachers, and others are planning events to help change their communities and to spread the word about drugs and your health. Last year’s first-ever National Drug Facts Week was a huge success, with events held in 24 states! We encourage you to take the first step and ignite change by talking with a school counselor or teacher about organizing an event where you live. Here are some suggestions about how to put your ideas into action:

Poster Campaign

Paint the town in drug facts posters! Everywhere there is a poster, you will be spreading the facts about drug abuse. First, find out if you need permission to put up posters in your community. Use the Drug Facts: Shatter the Myths booklet as inspiration for your poster.

Sidewalk Art

Hold a contest for teen artists. Ask them to use chalk to write one drug Q & A from the Drug Facts: Shatter the Myths booklet on a city sidewalk, using artistic, cool designs that represent the question or their response to it. Pick a panel of judges, including maybe the mayor or a local celeb if they are available.

Facebook Scavenger Hunt

Scatter clues around your school or community. Offer some drug-related trivia questions online on Facebook or verbally in school. You can reward correct answers by giving out tips on how to find the next clue. Whoever gets to the finish line first wins a prize (you can decide the prizes). Get trivia facts from the NIDA Web site, the NIDA for Teens Web site, or the Drug Facts: Shatter the Myths booklet. Ask a local business or restaurant if they are willing to donate a gift card as a prize.

School Assembly

Every community has its inspiring members. Some may work with people in recovery from drug addiction, or are in recovery themselves and would love to talk with teens about their experiences. Plan a school assembly for them to share their stories—and pair them with an expert to answer teens’ questions. Get other activity ideas by visiting the National Drug Facts Week Web site and the Shoutout page. How are you going to start to ignite change in your community? What are your event ideas? Take that first step…