This past week, we brought October to a close by celebrating Red Ribbon Week! Amongst recognizing National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, we encouraged our kids to “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug-free“! In collaboration with the Georgia Prevention Project and other coalition partners, we participated in another successful national prescription (Rx) drug Take Back Day; encouraged parents to have the tough conversations about drugs and alcohol with their teens; and supported our students in spreading the message of being brave, happy, and drug-free through poster contests, picture challenges, and other activities to their peers (virtually of course)!

As always, we want to encourage our youth to be and remain drug-free 365 days a year for years to come. Also, we want to encourage our parents to support our youth in doing so in order to increase their success in resisting negative peer pressure, refraining from making not-so-great decisions, and abstaining from engaging in any form of drug use. By promoting a drug-free youth, we are promoting a successful generation of young minds and the health of our community! However, sometimes, this can be hard. This is especially true with us being in the age of social media where our youth are consistently being exposed to glorified images of drug use of any kind (e.g., alcohol abuse/underage drinking, vaping, tobacco use, medicine abuse, etc.). That is why we must encourage them to live healthy lives which can lead to happy lives! We must push the message of being brave in not conforming to the “norm” of drug use. We have to combat myths with truths to expose the dangers of drug-use so that our youth can remain drug-free!

Although Red Ribbon Week has come to a close, as parents, peers, and as a community, let’s continue to do the work all year long in supporting, encouraging, and educating our youth so that they can be and remain drug-free!