National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) was first started in 2010
by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Its purpose is to connect teens
to scientists and other professionals who can help these kids get the
facts on the science of
substance abuse and addiction. Since then, NDAFW has grown to encompass many educational
initiatives, including community events and online chats. In 2017, NDAFW
is being recognized from January 23
rd to 29
th. The ER team at JFK Medical Center embraces these efforts to prevent substance
abuse in our Florida communities.
Get the Facts
Teens are a high-risk group regarding drug and alcohol use. Many of them
experiment with one or more illicit substances at some point. Not all
of these teens develop lasting substance abuse and addiction problems,
but it’s important for adolescents to understand that serious or
life-threatening health problems can occur even if an illicit substance
is used just once. Teens are often uncomfortable discussing these issues
with their parents, which is one reason why NDAFW has been so successful;
these events allow teens to access information they need without feeling
pressure from authority figures.
Withstand Peer Pressure
Peer pressure is highly influential for adolescents. Many teens try alcohol
or drugs as an attempt to fit in with their friends or because they feel
that drug use makes them look grown up. In fact, researchers have found
that the knowledge that friends are watching causes a teen’s
reward center in the brain to activate. This is especially true when a teen is making risky choices,
such as driving recklessly or trying drugs. It’s important for parents
and guidance counselors to help teens learn how to withstand peer pressure.
Teens who have trouble simply saying “No” might do better
if they have a sarcastic response prepared. For example, if offered a
drink, a teen might say, “I prefer to preserve my brain cells,”
or “Do you enjoy drooling on yourself? Because I don’t.”
Teens who know the facts about substance abuse and are proactive about
resisting peer pressure are taking smart steps to protect themselves.
At JFK Medical Center, you’ll find supportive
behavioral health services in Atlantis, including treatment for co-occurring substance abuse.
Visit us online for detailed information about our behavioral health services.
To request a referral to a specialist, call one of our registered nurses
at (561) 548-4JFK (4535).