Representatives from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Program Unit celebrated National Drug Facts Week (January 27–February 2, 2014) as part of the National 4-H Council’s Health Rocks!® Youth Ambassador Summit. Mariah Gullatte, a junior at Sparkman High School in Harvest, Alabama, was selected to attend the event held in partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The Youth Ambassador Summit connects youth advocates with leading experts in the field of drug, alcohol and tobacco education.
As part of the celebration, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction for the Office of National Drug Control Policy David Mineta addressed summit delegates as the keynote speaker.
“I want to make sure you don’t forget that what you’re doing is part of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy” said Mineta. “And for that, our office owes you a great big thank you. On behalf of the President and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, thank you.”
Lisa Lauxman, director, Division Youth and 4-H at National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also led discussion as part of the ceremony along with two NIDA scientists. As with every 4-H event, the youth representatives from eight states were more than just observers in the dialogue. Youth delegates presented their own state of the union addresses on the specific drug, alcohol, and tobacco issues that affect communities within their state and how they utilized the 4-H Health Rocks!® program to make an impact in their own communities. Adults and youth learned a great deal together working as partners in a common cause.
About Health Rocks!®The Health Rocks!® program targets youth ages 8 to14 and provides the necessary skills to make healthy lifestyle choices and avoid risky ones, including alcohol, drugs, and tobacco use. As part of a comprehensive school health program, a research-based tobacco-use prevention curriculum using an experiential learning model is used to reinforce the efforts of school programs across grades. In addition to the 10-plus hours of educational programming youth experience, the curriculum also offers specific activities to engage families and communities to support drug prevention of youth. In 2012, the program reached more than 78,000 youth and is projected to reach another 100,000 youth in the 2013-2014.
About 4-H4-H is a community of seven million young people around the world learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of Cooperative Extension. The 4-H National Headquarters is located at the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. In the US, 4-H programs are implemented by 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension through more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. 4-H programs also operate through independent, country-led organizations in more than 50 countries outside the US.
Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H, and Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.
About the National Institute on Drug AbuseThe NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve 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 www.drugabuse.gov.
About National Drug Facts Week
The Fourth Annual National Drug Facts Week took place January 27–February 2, 2014. The weeklong event, launched in 2010 by NIDA, provides an opportunity for teens to shatter myths about drugs and drug abuse. In community and school events all over America, teens and experts come together for an honest conversation about how drugs affect the brain, body and human behavior. Students also have the opportunity to ask scientists questions about drugs or discuss NIDA materials designed for teens. Learn more at http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/.
Contact your local county Extension office for more information about Health Rocks!® in Alabama.
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