It was hard enough when I was a kid, and it breaks my heart to think about the fact that our children are faced with ten times the number of drugs we were. Seriously, there are so many different kinds of drugs out there. It’s crazy, the things I catch myself looking things up on the internet. Did you know drugs known as “bath salts” are being swallowed, snorted, inhaled and even injected? Who in the world thought of these things?
Can you imagine what using bath salts does to your body? Well, according to DrugAbuse.gov there were 23,000 emergency room visits in 2011 due to bath salts and users typically need help with heart issues – racing heart, chest pains, high blood pressure – and have symptoms of paranoia, panic attacks and hallucinations. Oh, but that is not all. There are patients with “excited delirium” who may have a breakdown of muscle tissue attached to bones, kidney failure, dehydration and so much more.
With that being said I’m so happy to be sharing National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) with you. It’s an awesome program that will run this year from January 25th till January 31st.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week is a yearly observance that works to bring teens and scientific experts to SHATTER THE MYTHS about addiction and substance abuse for a week. The observance is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which are both part of the National Institutes of Health.
NDAFW has been going strong since 2010 when it was launched to help bust the myths about drugs and alcohol that many teens were getting from places like TV, Movies, Music, the Internet, and even friends. Since its launch, NDAFW has grown dramatically. There were over 1,500 events in the US and several international sites last year.
This program is awesome because it gives teens the chance to interact with scientists and experts in a safe place where they do not need to worry about being judged or lectured, and they can listen, ask questions and learn the truth about drugs and alcohol.
If you’ve wanted to talk to your child about drugs and alcohol, you can use the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge quiz. NDAFW uses a 12 question multiple choice quiz that both teens and adults can take to test their knowledge about drugs, and this quiz can be used by parents to help them start a conversation with their children about drugs and alcohol.
There are so many myths out there when it comes to drugs and alcohol and it’s our job as parents to do everything we can to make sure our children understand the risk of using not only bath salts, but meth, cocaine, marijuana, MDMA, tobacco, heroin, e-cigarettes and more.
I took the IQ Challenge and got everything correct. I guess that’s bad but good. As a parent, I’m glad I know what is going on in the world when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Addiction is something we grew up seeing, not from my parents but other family members and I admit I goofed as a young teen which is one reason I talk to my kids about drugs. My parents tried to hide things from us, to protect us. Both my parents grew up rough and they wanted to save us from that world but hiding us from it just made us more curious. If only I knew then what I know now right? It’s true and I can either cry about it or use it so I can arm my children with the knowledge I wished we had growing up so they can do things smarter!
There are new drugs or things people are using the get “high” all the time. We must stay up to date so we can have an educated conversation with our children. To learn more about the drug and alcohol facts be sure to take the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge.