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Brian Marquis, National Institute on Drug Abuse Public Liaison Officer

December 7, 2017

5 Steps to Hosting a National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week Activity

“What’s the difference between tolerance, dependence, and addiction?” “Can stimulants improve your performance on exams?” “Is it safer to drive stoned than drunk?” We know you come up against misconceptions and myths when doing outreach to peers about drugs and alcohol.

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) is a national health observance all about linking students to science-based information to shatter the myths about drugs and alcohol. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a research institute supporting most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. Join us this January 22nd–28th!

Interested in planning an educational event or activity? Here’s how to get started:

1. Find your crew

Identify who is taking charge of planning your events. This may be someone formally involved in leading your organization or a chance for someone new to step up. Spread responsibilities out among the team. Event teams work best when you’ve identified a person to lead promotion, someone to handle logistics (like booking a room or setting up tables), and someone to take the lead on coordinating the educational content of the event.

2. Plan your event

First, choose a topic. Are you focusing on alcohol or a specific drug, drugs and alcohol overall, or a specific behavior like bystander intervention? Next, brainstorm events that will resonate on your campus. Think about the last few awesome events you attended—even if they had nothing to do with peer education. Also, consider how National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week can complement your existing events? Finally, run it by the permissions people. Whether that’s an advisor or someone in campus activities, make sure you have the green light.

3. Register your event

Make it official! Register your event online to put your event on the map—literally. You’ll join more than 2,000 educational events happening worldwide.

4. Secure the science

What does your brain actually look like on drugs? Ask a neuroscientist! Your campus community is a tremendous untapped resource. Find faculty or graduate students in departments like psychology, psychiatry, or neurology who might be interested in working with you. Consider hosting a coffee hour with a scientist or organize a panel discussion after a film screening.

NIDA offers free materials on drugs and drug abuse to support your event, or to use any time of the year. You can download them or order print versions.

5. Promote! Promote! Promote!

You know what works best on your campus. Do students respond to social media? Chalk writing? Posters? A table outside the library? Flyers hung up in bathroom stalls? Get the word out. NIDA has toolkits to help. Join the conversation using #NDAFW.

If your college is interested in holding an event during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, there are resources to assist you in your planning. Whether you need brochures or someone to brainstorm ideas, NIDA staff are here to help. Email us at [email protected].

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