On January 29, 2015 more than 200 high school students from the DC area interacted with top U.S. scientific experts and inspiring guest speakers in to shatter the myths about drugs and substance abuse.

4 March 2015 | News

In order to assess what the students had learned during the event and how their attitudes to drugs had changed, we asked the students to participate in an IQ challenge. The IQ challenge consisted of a pre- and post assessment to learn how the students attitudes had changed after hearing from parents, scientists and testimonies from their peers during the event.

The students’ concerns about the use of the new synthetic drug spice, also known as K2, increased significantly among the students. We are also encouraged by the fact that students say they are more likely to intervene when someone they know are using drugs and/or alcohol. Approximately 95 % of the students that attended Shattering the

Myths 2015 are likely to share the information they have learned during the event to others in their peer group.

” Experience is life teaching us a new lesson every

day and for many adolescents, empathy and being responsible for your own actions is a learned behavior. Their decisions at this stage of their brain development often are based on the desire for immediate gratification and the desire to belong or to “fit in”. The data shows that the participants from Shattering the Myths are indeed affected by testimonies from parents and their peers in a positive way. Our work at Mentor Foundation USA is essential for keeping the momentum for staying drug and alcohol free alive beyond this event and reaching as many youth as possible,”  said Ms. Jamila Sams, Program Director.

The “Shattering the Myths” event was held in observance of National Drug Facts Week (NDFW), and was hosted by Mentor Foundation USA, in partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Embassy of Sweden.