Parents need to be leaders in fighting drugs
Just like last year, our color focus has changed since the first week in October. This week, we are Red.
Red ribbons will adorn local schools and school children this and next week in honor of the Red Ribbon Week campaign, Oct. 23-31.
Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October.
We have included a special insert in this edition which includes interviews with those who are fighting to keep children away from drugs every day. They are our school resource officers, many of which teach the D.A.R.E. classes each year. These officers see first-hand the changes that take place throughout the years in regards to students' exposure to drugs.
They know these children. They see them at school and they see them when they are out and about around town. They know some of them are making good choices and some are not.
They encourage parents to take an active, parental role in the lives of their children and say parents should not being afraid of issuing consequences to children who make bad choices.
"Be the parent. You can be their friend when they are grown," was the common advice issued to parents from these officers, many who are parents themselves.
Red Ribbon Week is more than just an effort to bring attention to the drug problems. It is the largest, most visible prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the U.S.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's website says the Red Ribbon Celebration (Oct. 23-31) brings millions of people together to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and encourage prevention, early intervention and treatment services.
In 2008, eight percent of the United States population, ages 12 and older, had used drugs in the past month. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug.
Everyone has a stake in this fight. The financial cost alone is crippling. The National Institute of Health estimates more than $600 billion annually is spent on costs relating to drugs, including crime, lost work hours and health care.
It's time to take a stand against drug use.
This week, we ask that you join us in this fight. Wear a red ribbon to let others know you support the fight. Most of all, talk to the young people in your lives and let them know it is not ok to do drugs or associate with those that do.
If you suspect something is amiss, address the problem or seek help in finding answers.
Be good role models - children mimic what you do.
Helping our children make good choices now and in the future will give them a pathway to success.
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