Lesson: Real Questions, Real Answers About Drugs
First published 2009. To view the latest Heads Up content, click here.
Dear Teacher: The teen years are filled with situations that raise questions about drugs. Getting
answers to these questions can help teens make healthy decisions when faced with
peer pressure about drug use. If they know the facts about how drugs may affect
their brains and bodies, they’ll be more likely to say “no.”
But many teens don’t know where to get the facts about drugs. Some teens may
feel comfortable talking to their parents, teachers, or other trusted adults, but many
may be too embarrassed, or fear getting in trouble. Instead, they may rely on word
of mouth or other unreliable sources to get information.
In this year’s first installment of Heads Up, we give answers to some of the
questions that teens have asked most frequently during NIDA’s Drug Facts
Chat Day—an annual event where teens can anonymously send questions to the
nation’s top drug and addiction experts. We also highlight other reliable sources
of information about drugs and give teens tips for making smart decisions. We
hope you will share the article with your students and encourage them to seek out
science-based answers to their questions.
Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)