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National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

March 22-28 is an annual, week-long, health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. It provides an opportunity to bring together scientists, students, educators, healthcare providers, and community partners—to help advance the science, so that we can improve the prevention and

awareness of substance misuse in our own communities and nationwide. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health.

Start A Conversation: 10 Questions Teens Ask About Drugs and Health

At the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), our goal is to help people get accurate, science-based information about drugs and health. For the past decade, researchers at NIDA have set aside a Chat Day each year during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® to answer questions teens have about drugs and health. We’ve compiled teens' 10 frequently asked questions from more than 118,000 queries we’ve received to help you start a conversation about drugs and health. It’s okay if some of this information is news to you—lots of other people are asking, too!

10. Why do people take drugs when they know they're bad? 9. What are the effects of drugs like Xanax® and Percocet®? 8. What are bath salts? 7. Can you get addicted to ADHD meds? 6. Is vaping bad for you even if it’s just flavoring? 5. How can I help someone with a problem stop taking drugs? How can I help if they don't want help? 4. If a pregnant woman takes drugs/smokes/drinks alcohol, what happens to her baby? 3. Can marijuana be used as medicine? 2. Which is more habit-forming – smoking cigarettes or vaping nicotine? 1. What is the worst drug?

To help with answering these questions, CLICK HERE


  1. Leventhal AM, Strong DR, Kirkpatrick MG, et al. Association of electronic cigarette use with initiation of combustible tobacco product smoking in early adolescence. JAMA. 2015;314(7):700-707. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8950

  2. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.…. Published December 11, 2013. Accessed January 31, 2018.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health. Smoking and Tobacco Use, Fast Facts. smoking%20is%20responsible%20for,or%201%2C300%20deaths%20every%20day.&text= On%20average%2C%20smokers%20die%2010%20years%20earlier%20than%20nonsmokers.

  4. United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Risky Driving, Drunk Driving.

  5. Hedegaard H. Miniño AM, Warner M. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999-2019. NCHS Data Brief, no 394. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020. drug%20overdose,standard%20population%20(Figure%201) Accessed March 2021

  6. NIDA. 2021, March 19. Start A Conversation: 10 Questions Teens Ask About Drugs and Health. Retrieved from on 2021, March 21


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