Law enforcement emphasizes importance of Red Ribbon Week

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Red Ribbon Week is a national campaign that takes place every October to bring awareness of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse.

Local schools are implementing special lessons to teach students how to make smart decisions.

It’s an opportunity for educators to talk to students about being drug-free. Lesson plans range by age.

“It might talk more about who can help us make healthy and unhealthy choices, and for some of our older students it might be what strategies can we use to resist peers who may be engaging and unhealthy choices,” said BDS Student Wellness Program Director, Dawn Capes.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford says kids are naturally curious and it’s best to secure any prescriptions at home.

“These kids, they start experimenting and talking about it with the other kids at school. If it’s sitting in the medicine cabinet at your house, then your kids have access to that and there have been numerous instances of kids getting addicted in that manner,” said Sheriff Ford.

In addition to teachers talking to students about drugs, law enforcement officials say it’s important for parents to also get involved.

“Think it’s critical that parents have those conversations with their kids because many times they are going to be tempted by other kids that may be doing the wrong thing. They might say hey try this pill, or try this particular drug. Some people can walk away from that and not get addicted, and others get addicted to it and it ruins their lives,” said Sheriff Ford.

Red Ribbon Week begins on Friday and lasts through Halloween.

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