Logo is a bright orange sunburst with "National Drug & alcohol Facts Week" in red and green in the shatter. The tagline is "Shatter the Myths."

At Compass Mark, our goal is to make sure Lancaster and Lebanon County residents understand addiction and its impact on our community, and to share our best resources for prevention. Every January, our mission is further reinforced by a national call to action — National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.

This week is about knowing the facts. How much do you really know about drugs and alcohol, the science behind them, and the potential health effects on teens? Are your children educated about the risks? National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is the time to test your knowledge. This quiz might help.

According to GetSmartAboutDrugs.gov, National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, held the final week of January since 2010 (Jan. 22-27 this year), “brings teens and scientific experts together to discuss the scientific facts about drugs, as well as their potential health effects on teen bodies and brains.”

Knowing the risks for drug and alcohol use is important today, in a society where underage drinking, drug abuse, and overdoses are commonplace. Even teens who are at low risk for drug abuse should know the facts. They can make smarter, healthier choices — and encourage their friends to as well — when they know the risks associated with drugs and alcohol. In addition, by knowing the signs of an overdose or drug use, they could save a friend or loved one’s life someday.

Whether you have talked to your children about drugs or not in the past, we encourage you to take advantage of this week to have a conversation with them and answer any questions they may have for you.

And if you or a loved one is struggling, remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Here’s some of the ways that Compass Mark can be a resource for you:

  • Having trouble starting a conversation with your child about drugs and alcohol? Try one of these conversation starters that can encourage open dialogue.
  • Not sure what warning signs to look for in your teenager? Refer to our two-page guide that can help you identify whether they may be using marijuana, opioids, or even hallucinogens.
  • Tough transitions (such as starting at a new school) are one of the reasons teens turn to drugs and alcohol. This guide explains why and the importance of staying involved and paying attention to their feelings and needs.
  • Through several school-based programs, Compass Mark works with our local education system to help keep our local children safe and ensure they know the dangers of drug use and make healthier choices.
  • Last, but not least: Don’t forget about our Information & Referral Team, who provide confidential support for concerns you have about a loved one, treatment referrals, interventions, and more. You can reach them at (717) 299-2831.

Take advantage of this opportunity to start the conversation with your friends and loved ones about drug and alcohol abuse during National Drugs and Alcohol Facts Week!