On February 11, 2016, 250 high school students from five DC and Baltimore area schools interacted with top U.S. scientific experts and inspiring guest speakers to shatter the myths that young people often have about drugs.

19 February 2016 | News

In order to assess what the students learn during the event they all participated in an IQ challenge. The IQ challenge consists of a pre- and post survey to assess how students’ attitudes change after meeting parents who have lost a child or children to drugs, learning the facts about drugs from top scientists and hearing testimonies from their peers. Here’s what the data from the event shows:

Post-program data shows that the students’ concerns about the use of alcohol increased significantly. We are also encouraged by the fact that students say they are 50% more concerned about marijuana use among their peers, once they were provided the facts about this drug. We are also encouraged by the fact that 81% of the students that attended Shattering the Myths 2016 say they are likely to share information they have learned during the event with their peers.

“Due to the current policies regarding marijuana in the District of Columbia, there is a misconception that marijuana has no harm on the individual, but inreality there are numerous negative side effects to the regular use of marijuana.” said Dr. Ruben Baler scientist for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The “Shattering the Myths” event was held at the NIA/NIDA Biomedical Research Center, and was hosted by Mentor Foundation USA, in partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). For more information on the “Shattering the Myths” event click here.