Get Healthy: Reducing drug use among teens an important goal

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

The last week in January is National Drugs Facts Week 2014. This is a great opportunity to confront the problem of drug use in our community, especially among teens, and dispel some myths about drug use. The weeklong health observance, organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), celebrates the inquisitive minds of teens by giving them a virtual space to ask questions about drugs and to get scientific answers from experts.

New drug trends are always emerging. Sometimes it seems like new ways to get high are showing up so quickly that teens are trying the drugs without knowing the harmful effects. Teens need to have the opportunity to access factual information about drug abuse and addiction. National Drug Facts Week is for teens to get accurate answers about drugs so they can make good, informed decisions for themselves and share accurate information with friends. Information on drugs and addiction can be found at

About one-third of high school seniors across the country report having used an illicit drug in the past year, and more than 10 percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller. While drugs can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy, many teens are not aware of the risks. Even for teens who do not abuse drugs, many have friends or family who do, and they are often looking for ways to help them.

Carson City Health and Human Services is pleased to work with organizations such as Partnership Carson City and others to address the problem of drug abuse. If you are looking for local resources and information about substance abuse or would be interested in scheduling a presentation about drug-related topics, please visit Partnership Carson City’s website at For more information about Health Department services, check out our website or “like” us on Facebook at


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