Guest blog post by Cindy Miner, Deputy Director of the Office of Science Policy and Communications at the National Institute on Drug Abuse
Hello Friends in the Military! On behalf of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), I wanted to let you know about National Drug Facts Week so you can help spread the word to our military families across the nation.
This week, November 8-14, NIDA is launching a new national health observance week, to bring together teens and scientific experts to discuss the facts about drug abuse. The aim of National Drug Facts Week is to “shatter the myths” about drugs and drug abuse. Through community-based events and activities on the Web, on TV, and through contests, teens are encouraged to get factual answers on drugs from scientific experts. The week will also include the launch of the first annual “National Drug IQ Challenge,” a 20-question multiple choice interactive quiz that teens and adults can take to test their science based knowledge about drugs..
As we all know, there is a growing awareness that military personnel, veterans and their families need help confronting a variety of war related problems, including substance abuse. Tobacco use, for example, is about 50 percent higher among the Nation’s active duty military personnel and veterans than in the civilian population. And, recent studies indicate that smoking rates are an additional 50 percent higher among personnel who have served in war zones.
NIDA was one of eleven organizations who provided funding this past year to support research on substance abuse and associated problems among U.S. military personnel, veterans, and their families. Advances in research are critical to help us better prevent and treat substance abuse problems among this population.
We also recognize that as important as research is in improving lives, it is equally important that we educate teens and adults about the facts surrounding drug abuse. So, please join NIDA this week in helping to shatter the myths about drug abuse and addiction.
Information on National Drug Facts Week can be found at http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov.