Drug Use is Life Abuse

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Drug Use is Life Abuse

Teenager participating in Red Ribbon Week.

Teenager participating in Red Ribbon Week.

Ashley Rose

Teenager participating in Red Ribbon Week.

Ashley Rose

Ashley Rose

Teenager participating in Red Ribbon Week.

Hala Essayli, Staff Writer and Editor

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Throughout the United States, millions of people experience drug addiction every day. Based on many studies, drugs can damage and weaken your heart, brain, lungs, and many other organs throughout your body. In order to embrace the awareness and attention of drug prevention, the annual campaign of Red Ribbon Week is celebrated. Red Ribbon Week honors the efforts and accomplishments Officer Enrique (Kiki) Camarena and many others have provided toward reducing the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of legal drugs. Today, Red Ribbon Week is celebrated in the last week of October by more than 80 million people.

At McAuliffe Middle School, red ribbons are wrapped around the school campus, students are handed red wristbands, and themed clothes are suggested for each day of the week. Although the message of living drug-free is displayed, many people argue that spreading drug awareness includes informing students why drugs are harmful, not by participating in themed activities. Ms. Vienna, an Assistant Principal at McAuliffe Middle School argues, “Themed activities are ok as long as they are paired with rich discussions about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.”

Moreover, Hassan Essayli, a college student, states, “I argue that the message of drug prevention should be spread in a much more informative way in order to affect teenagers, who might have never even been talked to about the negative effects of drugs.”

So, is the Red Ribbon Week campaign even important to participate in annually? During the teenage years, your brain has not fully developed. As a teenager, you’re at a higher risk to be peer pressured into using drugs by your friends. Adding on, a chemical called dopamine that produces pleasure in your brain is released when consuming drugs. Teenagers have a much higher risk of becoming addicted to drugs than adults. Adding on to this, some parents do not discuss the dangerous impacts of drugs on your body. Thanks to the campaign, students are exposed to drug awareness for a whole week! Vienna states,” I think it is important to dedicate time towards awareness annually to provide a safe place for student discussion.”

In conclusion, the decisions you make can permanently affect you and others around you. Learning a meaningful message can save your life, and that is the true meaning of Red Ribbon Week.