BASH celebrates red ribbon week

SADD+club+members+posing+in+front+of+the+Red+Ribbon+Week+sign.

Photo credit: Emma Wenerowicz

SADD club members posing in front of the Red Ribbon Week sign.

This week, the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) club is running Red Ribbon week, an anti-drug use campaign, here at BASH. The Red Ribbon Campaign is the longest- running drug-use prevention campaign in the nation. It’s sponsored by the National Family Partnership (NFP), which is devoted to the well-being of upcoming generations, with a focus on drug protection education and advocacy. Their mission is to “lead and support our nation’s families and communities in nurturing the full potential of healthy, drug-free youth.”

Official Red Ribbon Week poster for 2021 with this years slogan- “drug free looks like me”

To spread this message at Boyertown, the SADD club passed out pledges and red ribbons to each homeroom. Each student signed a pledge, stating “drug free looks like me”, and received a red ribbon. Homeroom teachers then displayed these somewhere in their room, as a reminder to students to say no to drugs. This is a big event for the SADD club- Peyton Stipa, a club officer, says, “This is the first significant event of the school year focused on addiction, specifically addiction recovery. It is important that we raise awareness for this topic, especially since it is one of the major dangers prominent among teens and it is considered taboo. The more we talk about it, the more normalized the conversation surrounding it is, and I think that is a very important thing to do in order to reach a large part of the student body who feel scared to ask for help themselves.”

It is important that we raise awareness for this topic, especially since it is one of the major dangers prominent among teens and it is considered taboo.”

— Peyton Stipa

It’s important to talk about drug use in schools, for the problem is becoming more severe in recent years. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS), drug use among 8th graders has increased  by 61% in the past four years, and at least 1 in every 8 teenagers has abused an illicit substance in this year. Long term effects of using drugs can be as severe as heart and/or lung disease, cancer, and can even affect how you experience normal pleasures in life. There’s also evidence of a connection between drug use and mental illness in teens- according to National Institute for Drug Abuse, drug use typically starts in adolescence, right around the time the first signs of mental illness usually appear. Drug use during this time period leads to an increased risk of substance abuse as teens get older. This is why it’s so important to teach students about appropriate drug use. Red ribbon week is used not only to bring light to these statistics, but show students who may be struggling recovery is possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, don’t hesitate to utilize BASH’s safe to say or SAP programs, or contact the drug abuse hotline.