RED RIBBON WEEK: LOVE YOURSELF; BE DRUG FREE   

Please be reminded that October 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week. This year’s theme is Love Yourself, Be Drug Free. Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country.  Red Ribbon Week activities pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enriqué “Kiki” Camarena, an 11-year veteran of the DEA assigned to the Guadalajara, Mexico office where he was on the trail of notorious drug traffickers. In 1985, he was kidnapped, brutally tortured and murdered by these drug traffickers. His tragic death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs and the international scope of the drug trade.  From that tragedy, a grass-roots effort to educate young people and their parents on the dangers of drugs was born. Red ribbons became a symbol of this drug-free commitment, and Red Ribbon Week celebrations spread across the country.

In conjunction with Red Ribbon Week at Pope, PTSA is working on sponsoring a Lunch & Learn in the cafeteria next week (Date TBD- Stay tuned). Brochures will be available along with bracelets depicting Narcotics….Never… Not Once from the Davis Direction Foundation, started by the Owen Family, after their Kennesaw Mountain High School graduate and former Class President son, Davis, overdosed on heroin at age 20 in March 2013. The Foundation intends to become a national resource for Opiate/Heroin Addiction awareness and change. For more information and awareness on this rising epidemic, please visit their website at www.davisdirectionfoundation.org and like them on Facebook.

In conjunction with Walton High PTSA, Pope PTSA welcomes ALL parents and students to a presentation from the Davis Direction Foundation founder Missy Owen and Board Member, Tanya Smith, on Tuesday, October 28, at 7pm in the Walton High School Theater. Tanya’s 20-yr old daughter Taylor died of heroin overdose in August 2013; she was found on side of road abandoned by her “friends”. Her first overdose a few months prior resulted in resuscitation by NarCan. Tanya helped persuade the state Legislature to pass House Bill 695, known as the Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty Law. It waves any legal punishment for those who get help for people experiencing an overdose. It also allows Georgia police officers to carry a life saving device, NarCan pen, which was first used by Holly Springs police. NarCan supplies Naloxone to heroin overdose victims through their nostrils which temporarily stops the overdose until they can get more advanced medical treatment. Narcan was FDA-approved in April 2014.

In celebration of Red Ribbon Week, Pope PTSA also arranged for a “crash car” from Kennesaw Wrecker to be displayed. This car represents what can happen to anyone who is distracted by texting, driving an excessive speed, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This particular car had 2 teenagers in it; a male teenage driver and a female teenage passenger. The car crashed last year and wrapped around a tree; the male driver was ejected and died, and the female passenger had several broken bones. This accident was caused by speeding, drinking and driving, and texting while driving. Distractions like drinking and driving under the influence can change your life forever. Please remember: the choices you make today can have permanent consequences. Please arrive alive - don't drink and drive, and don't text and drive. BE SAFE!