I received some information about an important event starting today to get the word out about kids and drugs. It was particularly timely, because I just saw a piece on The Today Show about thousands of toddlers addicted and chain smoking in Indonesia. Shocking, but it is happening here and around the world, and I loved seeing a U.S. campaign to extinguish the smoke.

Shoutout to Educate Teens About Drug Abuse

Today, I’m joining teens, parents, teachers, and scientists across America to kick off National Drug Facts Week by offering up my own shoutout for educating teens about 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. NIDA’s CyberShoutout begins a week full of teen-organized events around the country designed to spread the facts and help “shatter the myths” around drug abuse and addiction.

Add your voice today and post your own drug abuse shoutout on your blog, Facebook profile, Twitter account—or wherever you see fit. When you choose to speak, you choose to act.

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!

Feel like shouting out to the world about the dangers of drug abuse? Try some of NIDA’s shoutouts provided below for Facebook (include tag @DrugFacts), Twitter (include tag #drugfacts2010), and beyond—or come up with your own… together, we can help create change through sharing what we know:

* In 2009, cigarette smoking continued to be at its lowest point for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. I’m shouting out to make it even lower in 2010!

* I’m shouting out because in 2009, nearly 1 out of 10 high school seniors were still abusing prescription pain pills… unintentional overdoses involving pain medicines have more than tripled in the past 10 years, outnumbering total deaths involving heroin and cocaine.

* I’m shouting out because you CAN get addicted. Long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction in some people. Addiction means people can’t control their urge to seek out and use marijuana, even though it may negatively affect family relationships, school performance, and extracurricular activities.

Interested in a Shout Out? Here’s a quick link to ready-to-go language for your own social networks.