Do you have the #facts about drugs and alcohol? The world is full of misinformation and #myths related to substances so unfortunately, many of us don't. The good news is that the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens (NIDA) has dedicated the week of March 30-April 5, 2020 to keep us up to date with the latest information! The #NDAFW webpage has a lot of valuable information for teens, parents, and teachers and includes a number of interactive games and quizzes aimed at shattering the myths about drugs and alcohol.
So, what are the myths? Well, the list can be extensive! Let's see what you think about a few of them...
MYTH OR FACT: Nicotine (vaping) is the most commonly used substance among adolescents.
This is a #MYTH! While rates of vaping among teens is on the rise, alcohol remains the most commonly used substance among youth. However, results from the 2019 Monitoring the Future study show that alcohol use is on the decline in this group!
MYTH OR FACT: Underage alcohol use can affect brain structure and function and cause cognitive or learning problems.
This is a #FACT! Our brains are still developing until our mid-20s (around age 25), and chemical use before that time can alter the development of the brain. The earlier the use, the more likely to have a negative impact on development. This is especially true for decision making capabilities, as that is controlled by the frontal lobe--which is the last to develop.
MYTH OR FACT: Teen substance use is no big deal--everyone is doing it.
This is a #MYTH! The truth is, the majority of teens are NOT using drugs or alcohol. According to the 2019 Monitoring the Future Study, among 12th graders only 38% reported use of marijuana in the past year, and only 11.5% reported use of other illicit drugs during that time. While the study did find that 52.1% of 12th graders had used alcohol in the past year, the rate of binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a row) was only 14.4%.
How'd you do? If you are like most people, these may not be the answers you were expecting. There is a lot of work to do in educating our youth about the facts and promoting healthy decisions! Take the time to learn more about the drug and alcohol #facts this week and help #shatterthemyths.
To learn more about National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week and try the interactive games, visit https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week
To see more results from the 2019 Monitoring the Future study, visit https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/monitoring-future-2019-survey-results-overall-findings