24 under 24 Drug Mythbusters

In support of this year's National Drug Facts Week, Jan. 27- Feb 2, SparkAction and our partners issued a national challenge to find the top 24 young people age 24 or under who are informing and empowering their peers to make decisions based on facts, not rumors, myths or peer pressure.

We ask you to nominate young people who are using their talents, passion and creativity to break through the noise and help peers get the facts—not myths, not pressure but real knowledge—about alcohol and substances. And you did!

The winners were announced on Feb. 13, 2014. Check out these amazing young people making a difference in their communities to promote awareness of science-based drug facts and to prevent substance abuse.

The contest, in support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and it's National Drug Facts Week, was hosted by SparkAction and our partners:

  • Youth Service America
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
  • Above the Influence
  • The American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
  • The CorpsNetwork
  • OurTime.org
  • Young Invincibles
  • The National Collaboration for Youth,
  • The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network
  • Ready by 21®.

About the Contest

Tell us why and how you or someone you know is busting myths: If enough people share your story on social media you could be selected as one of the Top 24.

How: Nominate someone awesome (yourself or someone you know) using our online form.  Just make sure they're between the ages of 13 and 24.

When:  The deadline for submissions is Feb. 2, 2014. But don't fear, it's a quick form. Winners will be announced on Valentine's Day.

And while you're at it, learn more about National Drug Facts Week and plan an event.

The Details

The contest is open to any one residing in the United States and who is age 13 to 24. Note: Winners of SparkAction contests and challenges in the last 12 months are not eligible to be selected as a Top 24 under 24 Drug Mythbuster. Winners will be selected by a combination of "crowdsourced" Facebook voting and a final review by SparkAction and our partners. All winners and their nominees will be notified by email about their status as Top 24 Under 24 Drug Mythbusters. 

Questions? Email us.


Mythbuster: Idaho Meth Project Teen Advisory Council

We received nominations for seven of the members of the Teen Advisory Council toThe Idaho Meth Project. The Meth Project is a  statewide prevention program that uses powerful and graphic public service ads, education, and commuinty outreach to inform young people about the dangerous reality of methamphetamine use. (If you haven't seen the NOT EVEN ONCE campaign, check out the ads.) They're measurably reducing and preventing teen meth use in Idaho.

Mythbuster: Giancarlo Iona

Designed and built a mobile drug-fact kiosk for his high school and leads both social media and on-the-ground efforts to promote clear information.

Giancarlo, a high school sophomore, is the President of the Wallenpaupack Area High School SADD chapter. Gianni is also a member of the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Mythbuster: Campbell Hawkes

18-year-old Campbell Hawkes regularly researches and reads through scientific studies and papers covering the range of information, both drug harm reduction and pro-legalization websites in order to establish a clear awareness of the science as well as biases relating to drug use and abuse.

"Having openly had a history with drug use myself, I have been exposed to the environments most feared by parents, and bore witness to the destruction that a variety of substances (licit and elicit) can cause both in a person's life and surrounding communities," Campbell says.

Mythbusters: BreakAway

A teen rock band from Illinois using their music and platform to advocate for healthy teen behavior.

Hunter Laughhunn, Jacob Murphy, and brothers Spencer and Will Sharp are members of a teen classic rock band called BreakAway in central Ilinois.

Besides covering 80's, classic and southern rock songs, the teens also use their popularity and their music to bust myths about teen drug use.

Mythbuster: Michael Levin

An active leader in collegiate recovery who is dedicated to raising awareness and shattering the myths about addiction and recovery in young people.

Mythbuster: Sarah Nerad

A young person in long-term recovery who lead her university to form a recovery community and residential house.

Sarah Nerad is a young person in long-term recovery. Since entering recovery her junior year of high school, she has been working to ensure that others have the same opportunities that she had to maintain long-term recovery.

By sharing her recovery story through a TedX talk, Recovery Month events, conferences and presentations, Sarah is dispelling these common myths about drug use among young people:

Mythbuster: Zain Syed

Addressing health and drug abuse concerns in tandem with environmental protection.

In 2011 Zain felt adamant that human health concerns and environmental protection go hand in hand.

So, he launched a project in his school - Campaign Epidemic. His project aimed to increase the availability of information about prescription drug abuse so the citizens of Lamar County, Texas could make educated decisions concerning the dangers to their health and the environment.

Mythbuster: Bailey Eschmann

A founder of a local youth action team and active awareness-raiser.

Bailey has been part of the Marathon County Alcohol & Other Drug (AOD) Partnership since 2011.  As a freshman with the Enrich, Excel, Achieve Charter School, she became one of the elite ambassadors for her fellow classmates and served two one-year terms as a youth member of its Board of Directors.

Mythbuster: Amber Smith

A youth leader who focuses on research-based ways to reduce substance use, without scare tactics and "just say no" messages.

Amber works with Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!), a nationally recognized youth leadership organization that focuses on empowering young people to work with adults to create community change. 

Mythbuster: Cassie McBee

An organizer and actor in the Georgia-based "haunted" House of Addictions.

For more than two years, Cassie has played a big role in designing  and setting up the House of Addictions, an annual event run by the Walton County Youth Advocacy Board (YAB). The YAB is a peer-lead group sponsored by the Partnership for Youth and Families of Walton County.

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