Shatter the Myths
In the technological world we live in today, information is easily accessible to our children. Often they are bombarded with drug and drug abuse information from various outlets such as television programs, movies, music, the World Wide Web or simply from peers. Facing this constant stream of information, how can we be sure teens are able to make a distinction between facts and myths?
One way to invalidate the myths of drugs and drug abuse is for us to aim at shattering the myths by educating our teens. The National Drug Facts Week is a health observance week first launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse designed to address the myths about drugs and drug abuse using education as its platform. The week of 28th January to 3rd February 2014 was our fourth year observing the National Drug facts week.
Is this important?
Of the students that report using licit and illicit drugs, a vast majority (70.9%) reported that their consumption mainly was "just to try it", (Cayman Islands Student Drug Use Survey (CISDUS) 2012). Unfortunately as parents it is just as necessary for us to gain factual information which at present suggests that many of our teens are unaware of the risks involved of just trying drugs. Using the National Drug Facts week as an opportunity to keep teens are accurately informed and educated on the risks to their health, success in school and the mere dangers of drugs is our objective. Ultimately when teens are given the facts about drugs, they will be better equipped to make wise decisions for themselves and shatter the myths that currently exist.
What are we doing?
The NDC is working to encourage teens to get factual answers from experts about drugs, drug abuse and addiction. This is achieved through community-based events and activities on the web, TV, and poster contest. We have partnered with schools and educators for a collaborative approach through hosting honest informative conversational sessions with teens about how drugs affect the brain, body and behavior. Students may join in on the any of the weeks’ activities and are encouraged to participate in our culminating activity; the annual Poster Competition. Teens have the opportunity to creatively design and submit a poster with facts about drugs, slogans or myths. All entries should depict this year’s theme “Shatter the Myths” and be submitted by 28th February 2014 to be judged. The winners in each category will be awarded a grand prize and the overall winner’s poster will be used by NDC for promotional purposes.
As parents what can we do?
As parents you can talk with your teen about what they know and research information together using reputable sources. Check out the National Drug Council’s website www.ndc.ky or take the challenge test your facts by completing the National Drug IQ quiz www.drgfactsweek.abuse.gov.
Joan West-Dacres, Executive Director
PO Box 10007 | Grand Cayman KY1-1001 | CAYMAN ISLANDS
Ph: +1 345 949 9000 | Fax: +1 345 949-6264 | Web: www.ndc.ky