Students get lesson in dealing with substance abuse
RED BAY – The Red Bay High School Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) hosted a guest speaker to talk to the school about the importance of making good decisions.
Reginald Watkins, Sr. talked to the students about good choices, and the importance of having goals instead of dreams.
"Dreams are things you can dream about while goals are something you work toward," Watkins told the group.
Watkins and Community Representative Tony Faulkner work with Bradford Health Serves in Florence. Together they visit about 24 different schools in six counties to help students deal with situations involving drugs, alcohol and other negative decisions.
"The reality is that Red Bay has the same problems as New York City does, but on a smaller scale," Watkins told the group.
He added that everything that happens in the school affects the community, and the community cannot afford to lose any of its youth to drug and alcohol addiction.
"The most common abused drug in our school system today is the abuse of prescription medications," Watkins said. "Young people have learned to hide prescription drug abuse from teachers and administration while at school."
Watkins talked about the students having respect for oneself as well as their peers, and the importance of communication,participation and self-investment.
"You need to invest in yourself," Watkins told the group. "Your parents have invested in you, your community has invested in you and your school has invested in you."
At the end of the event, Faulkner urged students to express concerns they might have with a teacher or an administrator, or just write an anonymous note.
"I know you have been taught not to snitch on anyone, but that word came from the prisons, and you are not in prison," Faulkner said.
"If you have concern for someone, tell somebody with authority before it's too late. It's better to tell someone than to watch them die."
Bradford Health Services offers an array of services to help with drug and alcohol addiction including free consultation and free drug screening to outpatient and residential treatment services.