Happy World Drug Day

world drug dayToday is World Drug Day. Really. It’s unlikely that anyone reading this blog was previously aware of this fact, nor that each year on June 26 countries throughout the world show their support for substance abuse prevention by observing this day. It’s not a day I ever imagined would be important to me,
but as a drug prevention activist, and mother of a recovering addict, today is my idea of a good time.

In honor of this observance, I thought it would be fun to share some little known facts about drugs. A “test your drug IQ” if you will. So here we go…and no cheating with Google.

1. What drug kills more people each year than all other drugs combined?

2. What percentage of the U.S. population meets the definition of addiction?

a. 4%

b. 6%

c. 2%

d. 10%

3. What drug is now considered the biggest gateway to heroin use?

4. Which of the following statements about marijuana is most true?

a. It’s by far still the safest drug out there

b. Addiction occurs with the same frequency as with most other drugs

c. It’s medicine

d. Some experience psychotic episodes with use.

e. a and c

f. b and c

g. b and d

h. none of the above

5. What is the biggest predictor of addiction in a person?

a. Mental illness

b. Family history of addiction

c. Regular use of drugs as a teenager

d. none of the above

e. all of the above

6. Which of the following best defines addiction?

a. One’s inability to moderate drug and/or alcohol use

b. One’s inability to stop use despite negative consequences

c. An “addictive personality” is at the core of addiction

d. An addict is someone who lacks impulse control

7. What important chemical in the body is most affected by chronic drug use, and contributes to sustained use?

a. dopamine

b. serotonin

c. insulin

8. Which of the following is most true about “gateway drugs?”

a. Repeated use of a drug creates tolerance, driving the user to seek a bigger high

b. It’s an antiquated term that is rarely used today

c. Regular marijuana use will almost always lead to “white drugs.”

9. How much training does a primary care physician receive in medical school, and in residency, on addiction?

a. None

b. Not much. There’s only a one week module and it mostly covers alcohol

c. You have to sign up for the training…addiction is not included in the standard curriculum

d. In order to graduate, every physician now needs to complete 100 hours of intensive addiction study, including exposure to 12-Steps.

And here are some freebies:

• 25%- 30% of Oregon’s 8th graders are already drinking.

• Of the estimated 20 million alcoholic Americans, more than half began drinking in their teen years.

• Many parents feel they’ve escaped unscathed if their children only experiment with alcohol or smoke marijuana. The truth, however, is that the seeds of addiction can be sown with the early onset of any chemical substance.


Do you have any interesting insights or statistics to share?



1. Alcohol 2. d. 3. Oxycontin. 4. g. 5. e, but mostly b. 6. b. 7. a. 8. a. 9. a





Author: Barbara Stoefen

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