Every year schools around the country dedicate a week to drug awareness. A week known as Red Ribbon week. Teachers pass out red bracelets to the students, discuss the threat drugs pose to our lives, and try to make us choose the best path for our futures. By dedicating a whole week to the nationwide issue that is teen drug abuse, students are exposed to the problem in a healthy way that allows them to learn about the issue without participating in it.
At Yorba Linda High School we get students involved in Red Ribbon week by having dress up days. This year we started off the week by passing out red bracelets on Monday that have the slogan “Drug use is life abuse.” On Tuesday the students wore crazy socks to “knock out drug addiction.” On Wednesday everyone wore their favorite team jerseys to “team up against drugs.” On Thursday students brought their favorite stuffed animals to school to spread “hugs not drugs.” Lastly, on Friday everyone wore red to celebrate the end of Red Ribbon week.
Although participating in these dress up days obviously does not stop anyone from using drugs, it does spread awareness about the problem. Chase Brannon (12) says this “is one of his favorite weeks at school since it spreads awareness about drug abuse in a fun way that allows students to get involved and learn at the same time.” When students participate in this week it shows that they are on board with the movement to end drug abuse and live a safe and healthy life. By taking this step and publicly showing their support of the cause they are just that much less likely to succumb to the peer pressure and negative influences that surround drug abuse.
In my opinion, the best prevention to drug use is awareness, and that is exactly what Red Ribbon week offers to students. By teaching these young and impressionable kids the true effects of drugs, short term, and long term, it allows them to make educated decisions. A school cannot control the choices it’s students make, but it can teach them the consequences of those choices. After all, a school is meant to teach it’s students. There will still be people who make the wrong decisions and choose to participate in drug use, but I believe without Red Ribbon week that number of people would be much higher.