Today, I’m joining teens, parents, teachers, and scientists across America to kick off National Drug Facts Week by publishing my own shoutout for educating teens about the effects of drug abuse.

Sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Drug Facts Week is an official health observance designed to shatter the myths and spread the facts about drug abuse and addiction.

Learn more about today’s “CyberShoutout” in support of National Drug Facts Week by checking NIDA’s Sara Bellum Blog, which will be posting updates all day and recognizing the voices of those who participate—Yours could be one of them!

I was so moved by some of the facts they shared…here are some of my favorites…

If you want to spread the word, go for a “shout out” too with one of these shortcuts from NIDA on your  Facebook (@DrugFacts), Twitter (#drugfacts2011) – there’s some good news we can continue to improve upon and some statistics that need to change:

  • In 2010, cigarette smoking among 12th graders was at its lowest point in the history of NIDA’s MTF survey. From 2002 to 2009, monthly cigarette use fell from 13.0% to 8.9% among 12 to 17 year-olds.  I’m shouting out to get these numbers down to zero.
  • In 2010, nearly 1 in 12 high school seniors reported abusing Vicodin. In 2007, the number of overdose deaths from prescription pain medicines outnumbered those involving heroin and cocaine combined.
  • I’m shouting out because long-term marijuana use CAN lead to addiction in some people. Addiction means people can’t control their use of marijuana, even though it may negatively affect family relationships, school performance, and extracurricular activities.
  • Daily marijuana use increased significantly among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 2009 to 2010.
  • In 2010, more high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days (21.4 percent) than cigarettes (19.2 percent).
  • After several years of decline, current and past year use of Ecstasy has risen among 8th and 10th graders.
  • The past year use of an illicit drug reported by eighth-graders jumped from 14.5% to 16%. I’m shouting out to keep eighth graders from making bad decisions.

Thanks for spreading the word!  If you have a minute, please “tweet” or “like” this post on your own account/page by hitting one of the icons below this post (below “Share and Enjoy“), and let’s spread the word to keep our children safe.

When you choose to speak, you choose to act…