Educating Youth Around the World About Drugs and Alcohol

NDAFW graphic with world map behind it

Launched by NIDA scientists in 2010, National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) is an annual, weeklong health observance to inspire dialogue with and among youth about drug use and addiction. During this week, a variety of events and activities bring together scientists, educators, community organizations, health care providers, and students. The aim of NDAFW is to stop the spread of misinformation about drug and alcohol use among youth and young adults, to educate them in a fun and age-appropriate manner about what science has taught us about addiction, and to empower them to make informed decisions about drugs and alcohol and their mental health.

The observance of NDAFW is not limited to the United States: Other countries are invited to participate and have been doing so for years. In 2022, NDAFW events took place in 19 countries outside the United States, including countries in Asia (e.g., Bangladesh, Pakistan, India), Africa (e.g., Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa), Europe (Ukraine), and South America (e.g., Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico). For example: The Indian organization Planet Ayurveda produced a video about how drug and alcohol abuse make life difficult; Toevlug Centre, a South African rehabilitation organization, held a puppet show showcasing a story relating to what can be done to prevent the abuse of alcohol and drugs; and the minister for health and wellness of the Cayman Islands shared support via a short YouTube video for the islands’ National Drug & Alcohol Facts Month campaign, and the great opportunity it provides for people to learn about what science and research have taught us about drug and alcohol use.

NDAFW 2023 will take place March 20–26. To date, 16 organizations from eight countries and two U.S. territories have signed up to organize 91 different events. These organizations range from governmental entities, such as the Governor’s Drug Control Office in American Samoa and the National Drug Council in the Cayman Islands, to educational institutions, such as the University of Nairobi and Crawford International School in Kenya; organizations such as the Food and Genes Initiative and Live Free Initiative in Nigeria; and other regional and local organizations.

Additional countries and organizations are still welcome to register their events for NDAFW 2023. NIDA materials and step-by-step guidelines are available to help international drug abuse professionals plan, promote, and host events NDAFW events. International organizers who want to plan NDAFW events for 2023 should register as soon as possible to obtain materials in time for the event.

For more information, see NIDA’s NDAFW online guide.