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Getting 'red'y to fight drugs

The Harrodsburg Herald of Harrodsburg, Kentucky

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Schools, Community Plan Events for Red Ribbon Week

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates 20 million Americans aged 12 or older used an illegal drug in the past 30 days.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), each year more teens enter addiction treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than all other illegal drugs combined.

The statistics surrounding drug abuse have steadily increased for the past several years. The Mercer Association for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) along with the family resource and youth services coordinators (FRYSC) from Burgin and Mercer Schools hope to bring awareness to the drug situation in Mercer County and across the country during the nationally recognized drug awareness campaign, Red Ribbon Week.

Each school will have daily events to reinforce the drug prevention message to students. Events are also planned for the community including, a city and county wide proclamation supporting Red Ribbon Week followed by a Community Candlelight Prayer Service starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday on the court house steps.

The prayer service speakers, organized by Kim Anderson, who lost her son due to an overdose in the spring, includes Anderson, a recovering addict from the Isaiah House and Pastor Mark King from Cornishville Baptist Church. Representatives from the addiction recovery groups, Isaiah House and NextSteps, will be on hand to answer questions.

Other community events include a prevention fair held Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Burgin Independent School. Several booths will be set up to address topics from fetal alcohol syndrome to opiate and prescription medicine abuse.

ASAP also sent out packets to area churches requesting pastors address the drug abuse issues from the pulpit.

"Solving the drug abuse problem is not going to be easy," said Burgin FRYSC and ASAP board member Sharon Perkins. "Solving drug abuse means doing work on the soul as well as the body and mind."

Burgin students will start "painting the town red" by tying red ribbons around lampposts and distributing red ribbons. Local business are asked to show their support for Red Ribbon Week on their storefronts.

"We want to educate our young people so they never experiment with drugs, open the eyes of parents so they can stop their children who may be using gateway drugs and support the families of addicts and recovering addicts so they know they aren't alone in their battle against substance abuse. As a community we can do this, but we have to do something and we have to do it now," said Perkins.

Copyright 2015 The Harrodsburg Herald, Harrodsburg, Kentucky. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: October 22, 2015

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