Red Ribbon Week is continuing in full swing this week as students across the county are hearing presentations on substance use disorder, decision making, and refusal techniques from members of the Surry County Office of Substance Abuse Recovery and law enforcement.
Surry Central Middle School was the first school to participate in Red Ribbon Week events this week and has been followed in short order by presentations to Mount Airy Middle, Elkin Middle, Pilot Middle, and Gentry Middle Schools.
At Surry Central students participated in an essay contest and the winning essay is by Londyn Colbert. It is entitled, “Say No to Drugs and Yes to Your Future!”
In the essay, Londyn lays out three major reasons beyond the old fashioned message of “Just Say No” as to why sampling drugs, alcohol, vaping, and tobacco in middle or high school is the wrong choice for them personally, and for teens across the county as well.
The essay holds a message for students of all ages that introducing chemicals into a developing body is going to have consequences and may shorten a person’s life. Londyn’s essay follows in its entirety:
“I am writing this essay because I want to convince teens in Surry County to say no to drugs. I know that peer pressure can really take control of you and your decisions, especially when you are a teenager. I want to show that no matter what anybody ever says about drugs that it is always better to say no.
“There are a lot of reasons to say no to drugs, but today I am going to tackle three main reasons for why you should never take drugs. My first reason to never take drugs is because drugs can shorten your lifespan. My evidence to support this claim is that American Addiction Centers have proven that if you take meth, heroin, cocaine, or methadone pills as a teenager you have a higher chance of losing at least 10.3 years of your life. Just imagine though what you could do with ten extra years to live! Another example that has proven this is that studies have shown that 1.8% of teens who have taken drugs have died before the age of 50 years old.
“My second reason to never take drugs is that you will always feel worse from taking them instead of supposedly feeling ‘better.’ For example, doctors have conducted research and it has shown that all teens who take drugs will go downhill physically. Their bodies will start to decline health wise. Also, reports have been made that whenever teens take drugs, they have a higher chance of not being able to control all of their body movements.
“My third and final reason to never take drugs is because they are addicting even if you say you will only take one. For instance, studies have shown that 14.5% of teens in 8th grade are addicted to drugs because they took it once and kept craving more. Also, another report recently has shown that 9% of seniors in high school are addicted to drugs after using them once. Then this one-time usage led to cravings and addiction.
“These are just a few out of hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons teens in Surry County should not take drugs. If teens do not take drugs, they are more likely to get good grades, have better health, and be more productive in their life after they graduate high school. Also, if you do not take drugs as a teen, you are less likely to take them in your adulthood. Just picture all the possibilities in life with a drug-free future.”