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Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week
It is the nation’s largest and longest-running substance use prevention program. It started in 1988, when the first one was organized by National Family Partnership or NFP (a national leader in drug prevention education & advocacy).
DVHS PTSA supports efforts by government and non-government organizations that seek to educate parents, teens, teachers, and caregivers about issues related to substance abuse. We wanted to bring to your attention some information – compiled by organizations – to create awareness about the problems related to different kinds of substance abuse as well as the resources you can access if you want to help anyone within your family or in the larger community. 
This year’s theme is “Be Kind To Your Mind. Live Drug Free.™”
Alcohol's Effects on Health
From the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
[For more go to ]
Underage Drinking in the United States (ages 12 to 20) Updated: 2023
Prevalence of High-Intensity Drinking
  • According to the 2022 Monitoring the Future survey, 2.4% of students in 12th grade reported high-intensity drinking.
Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use
  • Research indicates that alcohol use during the teenage years can interfere with normal adolescent brain development and increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorder. In addition, underage drinking contributes to a range of acute consequences, such as injuries, sexual assaults, alcohol overdoses, and deaths—including those from motor vehicle crashes.
  • Alcohol is a factor in the deaths of thousands of people younger than age 21 in the United States each year. This includes:
  • 1,573 from motor vehicle crashes
  • 1,121 from homicides
  • 190 from alcohol overdose, falls, burns, and drowning
  • 718 from suicides
Alcohol and Your Brain: A Virtual Reality Experience Updated: 2023
Welcome to Alcohol and Your Brain, an interactive activity for youth ages 13 and older to learn about alcohol’s effects on five areas of the brain.
The free NIAAA app is available through Oculus App Lab.
Parents and educators can share the YouTube video with students on any computer or mobile device
Lock Your Meds []
44.9% of people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family or friends. 
Prevent your children, friends and relatives from misusing your own medication by securing your meds in places they cannot access.
Just because some drugs are legal, doesn’t mean they are less dangerous.
Take the following preventative steps:
  • Remove drugs from your medicine cabinet and hide them, lock them up or take them out of your house.
  • Safeguard all medicines that have to remain at home by monitoring quantities and controlling access.
  • Take inventory by writing down the names and amounts of medications you currently have and regularly check to see if anything is missing.
  • If your child is on prescribed medication, monitor the dosages and refills. Set clear rules, such as, not sharing and always following proper dosages.
  • Warn your youngsters that taking prescription or OTC drugs without a doctor’s supervision can be just as dangerous and potentially lethal as taking street drugs.
  • Supervise your child’s Internet use: many pharmacy sites are not regulated and will sell your child medications without prescriptions.
  • Properly dispose of old, expired, or unused medicines in the trash. Hide or mix them with cat litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away in an empty can or bag. DO NOT flush medications down the drain or toilet, unless the label indicates it is safe to do so.
Know the Risks of Using Drugs
From Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Young adults ages 18-25 have the highest rates of drug use across the board. This includes marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, as well as prescription drugs and illicit opioids. And drug use among adults ages 26-49 is on the rise.
Different drugs pose different dangers. Drug use can lead to dependence and addiction, injury and accidents, health problems, sleep issues, and more. Drug use affects you and those close to you. Know there is help.
Cocaine: Highly addictive, cocaine is involved in nearly one in five overdose deaths; its health effects include asthma, bowel decay, and increased risk of HIV.
Methamphetamine (Meth): Meth causes devastating health effects, and sometimes death, even on the first try. Meth speeds up the body’s systems to dangerous levels. Chronic users experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, aggression, and more.
Prescription and illicit opioids: Highly addictive, the substances are the top cause of overdose deaths; health effects include confusion, nausea, constipation, coma, and brain damage.
Marijuana: Even though it is legal in many states, studies link marijuana use to various negative outcomes.
Substance abuse has far-reaching effects on physical and mental health, relationships, education, and overall well-being. It affects people of all ages, races, and backgrounds.
Key Points for Parents:
Awareness is the First Step: Recognize that no family is immune to the challenges of drug abuse. It's essential for parents to stay informed about the risks and warning signs.
Open Communication: Create a safe and judgment-free space for your teens to discuss their concerns and experiences. Encourage them to ask questions and share their feelings.
Education: Understand the various drugs, their effects, and the dangers associated with them. Knowledge empowers parents to have informed conversations.
Positive Role Modeling: Be a role model for healthy and drug-free living. Your actions and attitudes will influence your children.
Building Resilience: Help your teens develop emotional resilience to cope with life's challenges without turning to drugs.
Activities and Hobbies: Encourage your children to engage in sports, arts, or other activities they are passionate about. This can provide a healthy outlet for their energy and emotions.
Peer Relationships: Discuss the importance of choosing friends who share their commitment to a drug-free lifestyle.
Know the Signs: Be aware of any behavioral changes, declining school performance, or sudden shifts in friends, as these could be indicators of drug-related issues.
As parents, our commitment to promoting a drug-free lifestyle can make a profound difference in our children's lives and the future of our communities. Together, we can support our teens, prevent drug abuse, and foster a healthier, brighter future.
Health & Wellness Committee,
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Red Ribbon Week