Dare to be drug-free

Every year, schools across the country take part in National Red Ribbon Week in hopes of relaying to students the importance of remaining drug-free. By hosting motivational speakers and sharing inspirational stories throughout the week, administrators aim to reinforce the severity of substance abuse.

For this year’s Red Ribbon Week, FHC has organized a variety of activities from presentations to movie nights in order to emphasize the significance of a healthy, drug free lifestyle.

Traditionally, only elementary schools and middle schools celebrate Red Ribbon Week; however, Principal Sonny Arnel believes high school students can also benefit from participating in the week’s activities. Red Ribbon Week is one of many methods that FHC can use to effectively educate students about the effects of substance abuse.

“This is just one of the efforts we make to emphasize the importance of remaining drug-free,” Dr. Arnel said. “Clubs like Breakdown FHC, Student Council and many others ultimately reinforce the same positive message throughout the year.”

On Oct. 29, teachers were encouraged to bring their students down to the scheduled presentation in the auditorium. There, a guest speaker shared the story of his daughter who lost her life due to continued substance abuse. The presentation attempted to create awareness about the significant impact drug use can have on one’s life.

During various lunches throughout this week, Preferred Family, a non-profit behavioral health organization, will also be available to educate students with accurate information concerning substance abuse. The organization provides substance abuse treatment, prevention and mental health services in Missouri and Kansas. Students will be able to ask questions about various community resources and learn more information about the negative effects of drug use.

According to Dr. Arnel, students are inundated with both positive and negative messages about substance abuse on a regular basis. Red Ribbon Week provides the student body with multiple opportunities for discussion about choices pertaining to these issues.

“Substance abuse is a problem in the society that we live in,” Dr. Arnel said. “To not acknowledge it at our school would be negligent on our part.”

By stressing the harmful effects of substance abuse during Red Ribbon Week, administrators hope to encourage students to lead drug-free lifestyles.