Substance abuse and addiction are growing public health concerns with severe consequences for individuals, families, and communities living through a global crisis. To promote awareness and encourage an open dialogue about drug and alcohol use among young people, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) launched National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW). This yearly, week-long initiative explores the science of substance use and addiction through a non-judgmental lens focusing on facts and acceptance.
In support of this initiative to spread accurate information regarding substance abuse prevention, GateHouse Treatment has created this blog post to share the message of NDAFW. Here we’ll emphasize why it’s essential for everyone, especially our youth, to understand these often-complex issues that impact us all. Participating in NDAFW helps destigmatize addiction and cultivates greater compassion for those struggling on their journey to recovery.
Why Does National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week Exist?
NDAFW raises awareness and encourages appropriate discussions about drugs, alcohol, and addiction. Not only does NDAFW spread factual information about the effects of addictive substances it also fosters acceptance for those experiencing addiction who may need support. Individuals in active addiction often experience shame and limited access to resources about their condition.
While it is true that addiction can be challenging to address, this national event takes a supportive, respectful approach to addiction and abuse conversations. This model provides hope for those looking to find a way out of the chaos substance abuse may bring.
Who is Responsible for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week?
NDFAW was launched in 2010 by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) scientists. In 2016 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) became a partner, and alcohol joined as a topic for the week. Currently, NIAAA and NIDA partner with the National Institutes of Health to emphasize the importance of events like NDAFW.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week allows specialists, scientists, educators, healthcare practitioners, students, community partners, and allies to advance the science behind addiction and substance use. Each year high schools, universities, and community groups spread awareness and promote non-judgmental conversations during NDFAW.
Many local, state, and federal partners also work hard to distribute accurate facts about drugs and alcohol to teenagers nationwide. Partners include:
- President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Department of Agriculture/4H
- Indian Health Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Food and Drug Administration
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Office of Minority Health
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
By educating teens on the harm of consuming addictive substances, which can be fatal, we create a society that is more capable of understanding addiction. Additionally, we provide support for those it impacts.
What Should People Take Away from National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week?
This week, we should all take the time to gain awareness of the critical issues surrounding substance abuse and addiction among young people. Additionally, society should strive to accept those affected. We should also take this opportunity to reflect upon why seeking treatment might be the best option for someone experiencing substance use disorders (SUDs). Addiction treatment can be lifesaving for many.
Whether the individual in active addiction seeks treatment in a hospital, addiction treatment center, or support meeting, awareness is the first step to admitting there is a problem. Addressing addiction can also lead to harm reduction and less consumption overall. By emphasizing the benefits of recovery and healthcare early, we can teach individuals experiencing addiction how to live safer, healthier lifestyles.
GateHouse Recognizes National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
NDAFW is a time to promote awareness and understanding around important topics such as substance misuse and addiction. This week also provides communities with information about drug use prevention, what drugs do to the body, and how individuals can support those affected by alcohol and drug use. By creating an environment that promotes honest conversations, acceptance of people with SUDs, and access to treatment options, we can work towards a safer world for ourselves and future generations.
Rehabilitation at an addiction treatment center like GateHouse Treatment is often critical for adults seeking long-term recovery. Like ours, carefully designed teen addiction treatment centers help individuals gain insight into the underlying causes of their substance use and learn new ways to cope with difficult experiences.
GateHouse specializes in evidence-based interventions, so our patients learn to regulate their emotions and choose healthier behaviors leading to a greater understanding of themselves. We focus on genuine, comprehensive recovery.
For more information about GateHouse Treatment and your options for a fresh start, call (855) 448-3588 or contact us here.