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Rapid City is getting a head start on a national drug campaign

red ribbon week
red ribbon week(Aleah Burggraff)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:42 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - In the 80′s, what began after the death of a DEA agent by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico is now known as the longest-running drug prevention campaign.

“Red Ribbon Week is a time when we can all show that we choose to be drug-free,” said Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender.

The drug prevention awareness program is celebrated a week early in Rapid City for community members to demonstrate their commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

“Alcohol and other drug abuse in this nation have reached epidemic stages and whereas it is imperative that visible, unified, prevention education efforts be launched to eliminate the demand for drugs,” said Allender.

At Monday’s Red Ribbon Ceremony, different schools in the Rapid City area presented a red ribbon with students’ signatures promising to say no to drugs.

The clinical supervisor for Addiction Recovery Centers of the Black Hills, Diana Boyle, said targeting kids in the national drug-free campaign is important.

“Because as we know, children are exposed to it quite early in life, especially if they have parents that are using drugs or alcohol, and I think that if we can get them at a young age then maybe we won’t need to see them later on in life,” said Boyle.

She also believes children are more prone to try drugs or alcohol due to peer pressure.

“Especially in the grade schools, middle schools, high school, a lot of it is peer pressure. I think it’s a lot of kids wanting to experiment,” said Boyle adding that it only takes one time experimenting with drugs to get hooked on them.

“Don’t even start it and if someone offers it to you, walk away. It’s not even worth it and it can cause a lot of lifelong problems and issues. So, I would say run as fast as you can from it,” warned Boyle.

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