During this hour-long program Dispelling Drug Myths, hear the facts about drugs from the experts. Listen to them dispel some of the big myths people hear and spread. Learn how to use facts to get the word out via social norms campaigns and other fact-based methods.

Because the need for correct information is so important, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is making it a priority to answer questions teens and others have by creating a drug facts week.

We’ll visit a Virginia school that is being proactive and helping students learn what’s true so they can spread the word to others.

Key Concepts:

  • Learn how to separate fact from fiction
  • Find out how to use facts to dispel myths
  • See what NIDA is doing to answer questions people may have

Originally Aired: April 28, 2011

Host & Panelists

Mary Elizabeth Elliott

(Host) Vice President of Communications, Membership, and Information Technology, CADCA

Ruben Baler, PhD

Health Science Administrator, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Dr. Baler joined the Science Policy Branch in the Office of Science Policy and Communications at the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a Health Science Administrator in October 2004.

Since joining NIDA, he has written and lectured about the Neurobiology of Drug Abuse and Addiction. Dr. Baler has gathered critical insight from diverse disciplines, which he combines to advance NIDA’s scientific mission. These include cellular and molecular biology, genetics, immunology, bioinformatics, neuroscience, and neuroethics.

Dr. Baler received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Biology from the University of Miami in 1993. He carried out his postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development where he specialized in molecular chronobiology.

Margaret Polovchak

Director, Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation, Illinois

Margaret Polovchak has served as Director of the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation in Des Planes, Illinois since 2004.

Her previous work experience includes more than 12 years of managerial experience in the for-profit business sector and ten years in prevention coalition project management.

Polovchak has a B.A. from Northwood University, Midland, Michigan and a Master’s in Community Development from North Park University in Chicago.

Paula Riggs, M.D.

Director of Psychiatric Services for Adolescents at the University of Colorado at Denver and the Health Sciences Center (UCDHSC) and affiliated Addiction, Research and Treatment Services (ARTS)

Dr. Riggs’ research career has focused on the development and testing of effective pharmacotherapy and behavioral treatment interventions in adolescents with substance use disorders and psychiatric comorbidity. More recently her research has expanded to multi-site effectiveness trials of combined pharmacotherapy and behavioral interventions conducted in community-based treatment settings.

She has been the Principal Investigator on a number of NIH/NIDA-funded research grants and is the author of numerous publications and educational articles and monographs in the field of adolescent treatment research.

Dr. Riggs received her bachelor’ and master’s degrees from the University of Colorado- Denver and her medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.