Recognizing National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

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).

Categories: Substance Abuse

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