Red Ribbon, drug/ alcohol awareness campaign kicks off

HOUGHTON — A campaign is underway to encourage young people to stay away from drugs and alcohol.

Life is a series of choices, and it’s best to start making the right choices at a young age. The Red Ribbon patch program seeks to get that message to kids to avoid substance

Dial Help Prevention Coordinator Kevin Weir said, “A lot of people are out there trying to make money off of kinds, trying to get them engaged in behaviors that are not in their self-interest. Those are behaviors that are going to get in the way of them reaching their goals and it’s important for us to reinforce that message while they’re still young.”

Community leaders from law enforcement and other support services took part in the program’s kickoff event Saturday in Hancock. The event featured a panel discussion and activities to drive home that there are consequences to substance abuse. Panelists included Hancock Police Chief Wayne Butler, Ray Smith (COTA, SST, CADC- M, Copper Country Mental Health), Houghton County Sheriff Brian McLean, Kerri Mayra (LLMSW, Michigan Tech Counseling), and Anna-Catharina Wilhelm (Michigan Tech Health & Wellness).

The DEA has partnered with the Girls Scouts to produce a special patch the kids can earn if they put together a community campaign for Red Ribbon Week. This year’s campaign includes poster, a YouTube ad and a short film created by the participants. The theme of the film is YOLO-You Only Live Once.

16-year-old Chassell resident Emilie Sander said, “Most people my age probably start thinking about doing drugs and alcohol and all those horrible things. And, if they want to get into college, they shouldn’t.” Red Ribbon Week is October 23 rd through the 31st.