The ASAP Ambassadors Youth Coalition from Anderson County, Clinton, and Oak Ridge High Schools celebrated National Drug and Alcohol Facts week last week. Aimed to increase their peers’ awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol, the event was organized by the student-led group. Students from the three high schools tested their knowledge on drugs and drug misuse by taking the 2017 National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge during their school’s lunch periods. Student contestants answered questions in a buzzer style trivia game related to mental health, marijuana, and other drugs.
With the support of Project AWARE and Chick-fil-A the event was a crowd-pleasing success, but most importantly, students gained valuable knowledge. “This was a great opportunity for students to learn more about the harmful effects of drugs on a young developing brain and to discuss potential underlying mental health illnesses” stated Kim Guinn, Anderson County School’s Project AWARE Director. There is no single factor that determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs but national drug use surveys indicate some children are already abusing drugs by age 12 or 13. Drug use decreases when drugs are perceived harmful. Guinn stated that awareness and prevention are the best strategies for intervention.
Manshi Patel, ASAP Ambassador from Oak Ridge High School stated, “It was shocking how many people got the easy questions wrong! I’m so glad we did this.” At the conclusion of the event, each student contestant received a Chick-fil-A food item gift card for their participation and drug prevention resources were made available at the schools. Throughout the week, each school also featured posters promoting facts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. For more information about substance misuse prevention efforts in Anderson County visit www.ASAPofAnderson.org or call 865-457-3007.
Victoria Seiber, the Chick-fil-A Cow, and Alexis Roy at Clinton High School for the ASAP Ambassador’s National Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge.