Red ribbon week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and violence prevention awareness campaign that takes place every October. This year, the movement was from October 21st to October 31st, and the National theme of 2019 was “Send a Message, Stay Drug-Free”. The idea was that by promoting your drug free lifestyle you would send a message to others on how to stay drug free.
Because drug and alcohol abuse are serious problems all over the world, public schools are coming up with different ways to prevent students from starting and continuing drug usage. For example, at Crescenta Valley High School, there is TUPE, Tobacco-Use Prevention Education, a program that explains the danger tobacco use to teenagers. Because of the large number of high schoolers who smoke or vape, nearly one in four students, this program is very beneficial. At Rosemont Middle School, there is a club called Project ABCD, which is funded by TUPE to spread tobacco awareness in middle schools.
For Red Ribbon Week at my school, the CV PTSA, Crescenta Valley Parent Teacher Student’s Association, helped plant red flags around the campus, promoting the events purpose for the week. There were also many posters in the hall ways, and speeches and projects were done in class. One of the big questions asked during these talks was why are drugs so bad for us? In a lecture during Red Ribbon week, we found out the answer. Most drugs stop the neurons, cells which transmit information, from sending signals in the brain. Drugs interfere with the ways in which neurons send, receive, and process signals via neurotransmitters, the chemical signals sent by neurons. Different drugs can make these fire differently. Drugs make people feel pleasure because of surges of these transmitters, and cause people to want more, leading to addiction.
During the campaign, students from Crescenta Valley High School presented to students about the harms of drugs to students at Rosemont Middle School as a special project. We explained the harms of drugs and cigarettes to the students, and how companies glorify them to make them more enticing.
Overall the week was a great success, and not only did our school learn from the program, but we also were able to share information with those in middle school.
For more information, on drug addiction please visit ww.drugabuse.gov.
Minseo Dana Park Grade 11,
Crescenta Valley High School