October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and we can take this opportunity to honor DEA Agent Kiki Camarena who died while fighting the Mexican Drug Cartels. We can also join teens, parents, teachers and other citizens across America in celebrating Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation.
The Right Path for Washington County is gearing up for Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31, celebrating with our school partners Oct. 22-26. Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews and Belpre Mayor Michael Lorentz are proclaiming this week Red Ribbon Week in their communities. We will be partnering with Eve, Inc., Selby's Tobacco Prevention Project and Marietta College Leadership students to host events and giveaways in several of our schools. Marietta HS SADD students and Frontier HS Student Council will be among the schools sharing drug facts and a school carnival.
Prevention is not just a week-long celebration, but a lifetime commitment to not let drug abuse get in the way of realizing your dreams for your future. We are looking to celebrate our youth living their dreams by asking them to participate in community service opportunities, write an essay that talks about their dreams, hopes and goals for their future, participate in Red Ribbon activities in their school. Youth can organize an event for their school, make a poster, be a positive role model and/or have a positive role model.
Know the facts! Most youth are not using/abusing drugs; drug free are the majority! Remember, your true friends have your back and they won't let you get into situations that may risk your life. It is easy to prevent addiction; never use/abuse drugs.
Talk to your family and find out your risk factors. Keep a journal or get involved in activities that you enjoy. Learn refusal skills. Take a stand and be in the drug-free majority. Don't let anyone get in your way of living your life. The only person you have control over is you.
Drug-free; the way to be!
For more information about Red Ribbon Week or other resources join the National Family Partnership, the Partnership At Drug Free.org and The Right Path on facebook.
Cathy Harper, Coordinator, The Right Path, a United Way Agency