Sometimes change happens an hour at a time

Teen Life: What is Your Drug Fact IQ?

March 2023


ndafw.jpgThe National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) offers you some challenges during the National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®. The National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge and the Coping with Stress Kahoot! quizzes. Any one of these are great activity options for your class or group or family to help share the science and empower youth to make healthy choices during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, March 20-26, and beyond!

Check out: Play the new NIDA Kahoot! during NDAFW! (

February 2023

Opioid Concerns

medications-1851178_1920.jpgWhen an opioid is prescribed for my child, what should I do? Parents may face this question with situations or ailments for which opioids may be recommended. These may include accidental injury, after oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth, sickle cell disease and other pediatric chronic pain conditions. If your health care provider recommends or prescribes an opioid for your child, there are important questions to ask, risks to be aware of and safety precautions to take. The Partnership to End Addiction provides information to assist caregiver’s decisions. Take a look:

  • What are some common opioid pain relievers?
  • Why is the misuse of opioids so dangerous?
  • What questions should you ask if an opioid is recommended?
  • What if an opioid has been prescribed?
  • What are some signs of misuse or dependence?

Keep your child safe. Learn more at: What Parents Should Know When Their Child Is Prescribed Opioids - Partnership to End Addiction (


January 2023

Planning NDAFW 2023 Event 

Join NIDA for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW)—to be held March 20-26, 2023—and plan an event or activity to empower the teens and young adults in your community to make informed decisions about alcohol and other drugs. It takes five steps to get started in creating an opportunity for community connection and unified action toward raising awareness of and preventing substance use among teens in communities nationwide.

Step 1: Learn about NDAFW with NIDA as your guide. NIDA offers a host of resources to help you and your planning team make the most of this annual, weeklong health observance that inspires dialogue around the science of drug use and addiction among youth.

Step 2: Plan your NDAFW event using inspiration from NIDA’s many activity ideas. From videos and quizzes to lesson plans and conversation starters, NIDA resources are tailored for teens, parents, and educators to explore and interact.                  

Step 3: Register your event! It only takes a few minutes to complete and gets your event listed on the NIDA events map online.

Step 4: View NIDA’s Research Topics to find the science on specific substances or other areas of interest. Secure the science with the help of NIDA. View lessons and conversation starters to help further education and conversation.

Step 5: Promote, promote, promote! Whether it’s via email, social media posts, or pitching local news to cover it, you can amplify your community activity or event to increase participation and spread the science.

Keep an eye out for the next email featuring more activity spotlights to help you turn your plans into action. It will include insights on spreading the word about your big event before NDAFW kicks off March 20-26!

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November 2022

Watch for the Challenge

ndafw.jpgThe National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have officially opened registration for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) 2023. Each year they offer a challenge to see how much you may know about the research of substance use and youth. it is a fun challenge. Check out the past ones. For this year's observance, NIDA has a fresh, new logo! NDAFW is an annual, week-long health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. If you’re ready to join event planners from across the country in participating in NDAFW 2023, register today and begin planning for March 20‒26, 2023!

Register Your NDAFW Event | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (

November 2022

Parents With Addiction

parents_addiction-1.pngMany teens think they are alone – but they are not. There are many families across the United States where one of the parents is an alcoholic or drug addict. Teens may feel like they are the reason why a parent has an alcohol or drug addiction – but that is not true. Nothing they do caused the parent to drink or do drugs. It is first important to understand the effects the alcohol or drugs will have on a person. By understanding, you will better understand why a parent is acting the way they are.

To learn more, check out: SafeTeens: Parents with Addiction - How to Deal With it

November 2022

SAMHSA New Tool for Health

samsha.pngSAMHSA promotes evidence-based prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support strategies to help parents and caregivers, educators, and community members meet the needs of young people. Prevention and early intervention strategies reduce risks and harms associated with substance use disorders and mental health challenges. Today, we are pleased to announce an important resource to support youth and their families.

Today, SAMHSA is pleased to announce an important resource to support youth and their families. Screen4Success, a NEW screening tool from SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.”® national prevention campaign, can help you better understand your child’s health, wellness, and wellbeing and find useful resources to address their needs. Screening is a fast and easy way to learn if youth are at elevated risk for potential problems and where they can find support.

Screen4Success, a NEW screening tool from SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.”® national prevention campaign, can help you better understand your child’s health, wellness, and wellbeing and find useful resources to address their needs. Screening is a fast and easy way to learn if youth are at elevated risk for potential problems and where they can find support.

Go to:

August 2022

The Adolescent Alcohol Use Impact

brain_synapses_firing.jpgThe past 50 years of research supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have resulted in an accumulation of valuable information that addresses the multifaceted problems surrounding underage drinking. Youth use of alcohol remains a persistent social and public health concern in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability and mortality during adolescence. Alcohol use in adolescence has a distinct pattern from adult drinking. Adolescents may have fewer drinking occasions but they consume relatively high levels per event often referred to as binge or heavy episodic drinking. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more standard ethanol alcohol consumption units per occasion for females and five plus units for males.

To learn more about the impact of adolescent alcohol use visit: Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain: What We’ve Learned and Where the Data Are Taking Us | Alcohol Research: Current Reviews (

May 2022

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February 2022

Is There a Connection Between Missing Sleep and Using Drugs?

sloth-5043324_1920.pngSleep! That is something you and numerous other teens do not get enough of. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shares recent research on the connection of sleep and drug use. You probably know it’s important to get enough sleep. However, you may be surprised to learn exactly how important it really is. For many of you, the demands of school, friends, work, and family take up many hours and leaves limited sleep time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends teens should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep a day. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, many of you get less. This lack of sleep puts you at risk for several health issues. One very important risk is the higher risk level between less sleep and the start of drug use. The data shows that teens reporting less than 6 hours of sleep are three time more likely to start using drugs. Realistically, this does not mean getting less sleep caused the drug use but the link to beginning use is there and research is continuing.

NIDA shared other health problems that are at higher risk for you with less than healthy sleep. Examples are:

  • Injuries.
  • Obesity.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Mental health issues.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has tips for getting a good night’s sleep. You’re doing yourself a huge favor by catching all the Z’s you need. Just take a peek: Set a schedule – go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

  • Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but no later than a few hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day and alcoholic drinks before bed.
  • Relax before bed – try a warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine.
  • Create a room for sleep – avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and don’t watch TV or have a computer in your bedroom.
  • Don’t lie in bed awake.  If you can’t get to sleep, do something else, like reading or listening to music, until you feel tired. 
  • See a doctor if you have a problem sleeping or if you feel unusually tired during the day.  Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.

February 2022

“Why Can’t I Get My Friend to Stop?” 

girl_reaching_for_drugs.jpgThe National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) teen website states that 31 percent of teens agree that they have tried to help a friend stop using drugs. Your desire to help is a good effort. However, you cannot “fix” a friends substance use disorder. (SUD’s) Understanding why you can’t “fix” a friend’s issue with alcohol and/or drug use is difficult. As a young adult or a teen that is in this situation, it is important to educate yourself about SUD’s and about the recovery process. Recognizing that it is not in your control to “fix” your friend or family member’s issues allows you to become better equipped to assist them in finding the treatment and recovery help they need when they are ready. As a family member or friend, it is the best interest for you to take care of yourself, educate yourself about substance use disorder and stay healthy yourself.

Visit the NIDA Blog at

For hints on how to be the best friend when SUD’s is a concern. The NIDA teen website also has a link to a list of questions from a “You Said It” poll generated by questions from “real” teens. Review the statements on the poll and the responses. Link to: See where you fit in with other young people’s knowledge and experiences. Use the NIDA teen website as a learning tool. It offers many opportunities to learn and to explore knowledge about SUD’s.

The best thing you can do is to protect your own health and realize this is not your issue to “fix.” Stay aware and supportive as is appropriate.

February 2022

Are the Non-addictive Drugs Safe?

  • Do all drugs lead to addiction?
  • Do all medications have a side effect?
  • Is it safe to take more than one over-the-counter medication at a time?

prescription_drugs_on_shelf.jpgThese are all good questions. Understanding the potential for addiction or side effects to any medication, over-the-counter (OTC) or prescribed medication is important. There are myths about the safety of taking OTC medicines since they do not require a prescription. To better understand the risk of abusing OTC or mixing with other medications, either prescription or OTC, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse website for Teens at: