THE HENRY COUNTY SUBSTANCE ABUSE COALITION TAKES PART IN NATIONAL DRUG FACTS WEEK BY SHATTERING THE MYTHS ABOUT MARIJUANA

Written by Theresa Rose on January 24, 2015

THE HENRY COUNTY SUBSTANCE ABUSE COALITION TAKES PART IN

NATIONAL DRUG FACTS WEEK BY SHATTERING THE MYTHS ABOUT MARIJUANA

HCSAC joins teens across the U.S. in week-long effort to shatter the myths on drugs

Henry County, Iowa — Teenagers from Henry County Iowa have joined forces with other teens and scientists across the United States as part of “National Drug Facts Week” (NDFW). The week-long health observance, organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, takes place Monday, January 26th through Sunday, February 1st. As part of the NDFW celebration, Henry County students are shattering the myths about marijuana.

About a third of high school seniors across the country report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than ten percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller. While drugs can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy, many teens are not aware of the risks. Even for those teens who do not abuse drugs, many have friends or family who do, and they are often looking for ways to help them.

Perception of harm and social disapproval has decreased leading to a significant increase in use over the past five years. According to the 2012 Iowa Youth Survey, 3 in 10 Iowa youth believe there is a slight risk or no risk in harming themselves if they use marijuana once a week. Youth use rises as drugs become more available. Legalizing marijuana will make it more accessible.

“We want teens to have the opportunity to learn what science has taught us about drug abuse and addiction,” said Officer Ryan Pilling, Mt. Pleasant Police and HCSAC chairperson. There are so many myths about drugs cluttering our popular culture. National Drug Facts Week is for teens to get honest answers about drugs so they can make good, informed decisions for themselves and share accurate information with friends.”

Henry County sixth through twelfth grade students will be reading facts about the dangers of marijuana over the daily announcements, hanging signs around school buildings, placing “fact” labels on popcorn bags – to be used at basketball games and participating in public service announcements at KILJ Radio. Administration and guidance counselors are working closely with the HCSAC to shatter the myths about marijuana by giving students the straight facts, so they can make smart choices and be their best – without drugs.

The Henry County Substance is an organization dedicated to reducing preventing, and eliminating substance use and abuse among youth in our community. Our strategies for substance abuse prevention rely on community-wide participation and emphasize parental involvement, advocacy, and collaboration with schools and youth-serving agencies. If you are interested in sharing your ideas and suggestions, volunteering at events or attending monthly meetings, you can contact Cherry Sandeen, Drug Free Communities Coordinator at 319-385-8126 or csandeen@iastate.edu.