Thursday, January 31, 2013

Teens Talking Drug Abuse With Experts Today


We are now in the middle of National Drug Facts Week, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and events are being held in conjunction with the observance in all 50 states. And today features a highlight of those events—the fifth annual Drug Facts Chat Day during which high school students throughout the country can "chat" anonymously and in real time with NIDA scientists who will try to answer their questions about use of illicit drugs as well as the rapidly spreading problem of misuse of prescription drugs, which many teens believe are less risky than traditional drugs of abuse because a physician prescribed them. Schools have been encouraged to register to have their students participate in Drug Facts Chat Day and those that did received an access code to allow teachers and students to participate in the chat. More than 30 scientists and science writers are expected to be online to answer the students' questions today.

In a letter to teachers, NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D., called the event "an ideal project for students in science, health, language, computer use, or even gym classes," adding that she hopes that the project's anonymous nature "will encourage students to ask what is truly on their minds. What they get in return are scientific facts, not lectures." Soon after the day's chats are completed, NIDA will post a transcript of them.

Information about National Drug Facts Week and Drug Facts Chat Day is available here. A transcript of last year's chat is posted here.

(image: goodluz/Shutterstock.com) 

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