You only live once

By: 

You only live once!

No, this is not an excuse or reason to waste your life on drugs and alcohol, which could potentially end your life. Instead, the phrase should be heeded, especially by youth, as a warning to not consume drugs and alcohol. There are much healthier activities to partake in.

Why would you take a chance at ruining your life by using drugs and alcohol?

It’s simply not worth it!

Many lives have been ruined because of the effects of drugs and alcohol. This includes job loss, health problems, divorce, losing custody of children, homelessness, depression and even death.

There is no guarantee of a second chance in life. We do not know when our time on earth will end.

Thankfully, some people are granted a second chance at life after making the decision to seek help for their addictions. You can read about one local couple on page 11A of this edition and how they turned their lives after years of drug/alcohol abuse and are now using their story to spread hope to others.

That’s why “You Only Live Once” is the theme for Red Ribbon Week 2016, which is underway this week. It has been celebrated October 23-31 every year since 1986.

According to Peggy Sapp, the president of the National Family Partnership, Red Ribbon Week is designed for several purposes:

• Red Ribbon is an Environmental Agent.

• Red Ribbon is designed to be an awareness campaign which gets information to the general public about the dangers of drug abuse.

• Red Ribbon is designed to be an experiential learning lesson for children and adults.

• Red Ribbon is designed to get people talking with other people and working on activities that will help rebuild a sense of community and common purpose.

• Red Ribbon is designed to help parents and schools deliver an effective drug prevention curriculum.

• Red Ribbon is designed to create CRITICAL MASS which is necessary to reduce destructive social norms/behaviors and promote positive social norms/behaviors.

• Red Ribbon is designed to be positive and fun— two things necessary to maintain good mental health

If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, we encourage you to seek help. There are plenty of resources available locally, many of which are free.

The Axis 1 Center of Barnwell works to prevent the use of drugs and alcohol, especially through education in local schools. However, they are also there for folks battling an addiction.

The key to successfully kicking an addiction is support. There are several support groups in Barnwell, including Celebrate Recovery on Friday nights at Hagood Avenue Baptist Church and the new Time for Recovery group on Sunday evenings at Gateway Church.

There is hope!

We also encourage residents to be vigilant of the medicines – both prescription and over-the-counter – that you have in your medicine cabinets, drawers and other places in your home. These are potentially deadly to children and others if they get in the wrong hands. Far too many injuries and deaths have been reported across the country over the years involving overdoses from pills.

Please lock up your medicines so they can only be accessed by the individuals intended to use them. Know what you have and what may be missing. Visit lockyourmeds.org for valuable tips and information.

If you have unused, unwanted or outdated medicine, you don’t have to wait for the next Prescription Drug Take Back event, which just occurred on Oct. 22. The Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office has a bin in their lobby for you to drop off pills throughout the year during regular business hours. No questions will be asked. Syringes and liquids are not accepted.

Let’s take the proper steps now and become educated on these important issues so we can make the best of our lives - we only live once.