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National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

January 11, 2018 - On October 26th, 2017, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 140 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Now, more than ever, it is important to know the facts concerning the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

More than half of high school seniors across the country report using alcohol, and around 15 percent report using illegal drugs sometime in the past year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In East Texas, according to the PRC 5 Regional Needs Assessment, 21.5 percent of our teenagers have used marijuana and 20 percent have used prescription drugs not prescribed to them. These drugs can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy, but many teens are not aware of the risks.

From January 22 to 28, 2018 – National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week – the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) and the Prevention Resource Center (PRC) along with students and community leaders will be teaming up with scientists from across the county to spread scientifically-based facts about drugs and alcohol.

Today’s popular culture is filled with inaccurate information about drugs. It’s time to shatter the myths.

For example, one myth: recreational marijuana is not dangerous.

The scientific facts: Marijuana changes the brain, impairing judgment and clarity of thought; it reduces IQ and the likelihood of success in school; today’s marijuana is five to six times stronger than in the ‘60s and ‘70s; and marijuana reduces motor skills, impairing driving ability.

With science-based information about drugs and their impacts, East Texas teenagers can make well-informed decisions before engaging in risky behavior.

For more information go to teens.drugabuse.gov. Follow ADAC or PRC5 on Facebook for daily facts that shatter myths.

Submitted by Kyeisha Foreman, BS