Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Kicks Off Red - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Kicks Off Red Ribbon Week

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MANNINGTON -

The Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Teen Taskforce said Red Ribbon Week is a great way for communities to unite against substance abuse.

Coalition members went to East Fairmont, Fairmont Senior, and North Marion High Schools to encourage students to live drug free.

Red Ribbon Week is a national event sponsored by the National Family Partnership.

Its mission is to present a visible and unified commitment toward creating a "Drug Free America."

"The prevention partnership started the national initiative across the country just to try to make the communities and the every day citizen more aware of the every day implications and issues involved in substance abuse," said Coalition Director Debbie Mann.

The Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition said substance abuse by teens is a big issue not only in Marion County, but nationwide.

"They estimate the 30 percent of sixth graders are already using tobacco," Mann said. "33 percent of eighth graders have already been drunk at least once."

The theme of the 2012 Red Ribbon Week Campaign is "The Best Me, Is Drug Free".

The coalition and the Teen Taskforce are organizing several events throughout the week to get the word out.

They are asking Marion County students to wear red on Wednesday to support the choice to be drug free.

"You're telling them not to do drugs," said North Marion student Kayle Smith. "That's pretty much it. To get involved. To wear a red shirt, because that's what it means."

Students who wear red will win raffle tickets for prizes.

The coalition said its main goal is awareness.

"Doing whatever we can to answer questions and get people talking," Mann said. "Hopefully we will enlist some more kids into our Teen Taskforce. We do a lot of mentoring of the younger kids going into the elementary schools and middle schools."