NIDA Partners with SCHOLASTIC, Tells Kids Facts About Methamphetamines
Through its continuing partnership with SCHOLASTIC, the worldwide children's publishing and media company, the National Institute on Drug Abuse will distribute information on the health effects of methamphetamine to nearly two million middle and high school students and their teachers.
Schmalfeldt:Through its continuing partnership with SCHOLASTIC, the worldwide children's publishing and media company, the National Institute on Drug Abuse will distribute information on the health effects of methamphetamine to nearly two million middle and high school students and their teachers. Dr. Cindy Miner is the Deputy Director for the Office of Science Policy and Communications at NIDA. She talked about some of the dangers posed by "meth" that will be highlighted in the series called "Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body."
Miner: It's a dangerous drug. It does appear through neuroimaging technology to cause some damage to certain areas of the brain. It is also highly addictive. It's effects can be long-lasting. There are treatments and things that you can do recover, in case you do become addicted.
Schmalfeldt:This is the fourth year of the NIDA/SCHOLASTIC partnership of reaching out to middle and early high school students. An online teacher survey shows that more than 90 percent found the "Heads Up" articles to be extremely or very valuable. And almost 94 percent of the teachers said it is important to integrate substance abuse information into the curriculum. Dr. Miner said one additional benefit of the program was the fact that it could interest students in bio-medical careers. She said this was being done through a series of interactive segments in the SCHOLASTIC publications. She shared an example.
Miner: We took a study that was actually done at the National Institute of Mental Health looking at brain development and they used imaging technology to look at 15 years of brain development in a number of kids. And so in this particular piece, we show the data and we also talk about what is brain imaging, what is an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), what's a PET (positron emission tomography) scan, how do they differ, and how can you look at these images and learn about brain activity, and how it's changing across a life span.
Schmalfeldt:In addition to article inserts for the present school year, a popular teaching poster produced in "Heads Up's" first year featuring the medical consequences of drugs on various parts of the body will be produced in English on one side, Spanish on the other, and will be distributed free to several thousand schools where at least 25 percent of the students are Hispanic. For more info, visit the NIDA website at www.backtoschool.drugabuse.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: Dr. Cindy Miner
Topic: Drug Abuse, Medical Education