Drug-use prevention campaign will place focus on youths

With the rise in drug and alcohol use, Venango County Human Services is doing what it can to keep the next generation from joining the trend.

Oct. 23 to 31 marks Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s largest and longest-running drug-use prevention campaign, which began in 1985. This year’s theme is “Drug free looks like me.”

“The campaign continues to support families and communities by helping youth remain healthy and drug-free,” Abigail Simcheck, Venango County Human Services senior program specialist, said in an email correspondence.

On Monday, 4,000 Venango County school students from kindergarten through eighth grade will receive a red holographic bracelet in support of the Red Ribbon Campaign. The Venango County Substance Use Program will provide the bracelets.

When students wear their bracelets to participating businesses, from Oct. 25 to 29, they can receive free or discounted items.

“As a community, we need to be vigilant in keeping our youth safe and helping them make good decisions year round,” Simcheck said.

She encouraged community members to have a meaningful conversation with a young person, be open and honest with them about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, ask the hard questions, and be aware of where youths are going.

“The community can take part in the Red Ribbon Campaign by reaching out and supporting our youth,” Simcheck said. “The Red Ribbon Campaign only lasts one week.”

More information can be found at www.redribbon.org.