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National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 12, 2003


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NIDA Goes BACK to School

Like millions of students and teachers across the country, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health, is going back to school in September.

In addition to sending teachers across the country information about the science-based education material available free from the Institute, NIDA is launching a virtual back to school program with a Web site designed especially for teens.

"We are excited about the NIDA resources available to students, parents, and teachers about the science behind drug abuse and addiction," says NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "Our materials are designed to inform students at a variety of grade levels about how research can help us discover the causes and possible cures for drug addiction. At the same time, they meet teachers' needs for engaging curricula that also fulfill national science education objectives."

The new Web site, www.teens.drugabuse.gov, is geared specifically for adolescents ages 11 to 15. The website contains age-appropriate facts on drugs, real stories about teens and drug abuse, games, take-home activities, and a Q&A forum with Dr. Volkow, as "Dr. NIDA."

Information about the new Web site is included in the material being sent to some 40,000 middle- and high-school science teachers. The mailing to teachers contains a letter from Dr. Volkow, an art card promoting the new website, a flyer promoting the Institute's Spanish-language publications, and a flyer detailing NIDA's grade-specific education material.

"NIDA is back to school to stay," says Dr. Volkow. "Science education — especially in the field of drug abuse and addiction — is dynamic. We want to convey that excitement, while keeping students and their parents, teachers, and school counselors informed of the latest findings our research holds for their decisions and lives."

The following is a list of Grade-Specific Science Education Material available free from NIDA, including teacher's guides (all of this material is available online at www.drugabuse.gov).

  • Brain Power! The NIDA Junior Scientist Program, science education materials for second- and third-grade students about the brain and the effects of drugs on the brain.

  • Mind Over Matter, a series of informational posters for grades 5-9.

  • Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body, a drug education series for students in grades 5-11 that partners NIDA and Scholastic Magazines, Inc., and includes drug facts, personal stories, and online activities.

  • The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology Through Addiction, a curriculum designed for high-school students (grades 9-12).

Also available are drug fact sheets, booklets, and the recently updated Preventing Drug Abuse among Children and Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators, and Community Leaders and its abbreviated version.

NIDA encourages all adults involved in the lives of children to visit www.backtoschool.drugabuse.gov to download or view its educational resources. People can order items online or from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 1-800-729-6686.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at http://www.drugabuse.gov.


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