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Oct 27, 1999

Wesley students promote drug awareness

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For those who think today’s youths aren’t involved in community events or are completely self-absorbed, the students of Wesley College ask you to reconsider. They are looking out for each other and anyone else in the community who is fighting drug addiction or the temptation to start taking drugs. This morning they took their message to the streets.

The students adorned with red ribbons marched downtown in a spirit of unity to highlight awareness of a problem that has been plaguing the youths of Belize. The red ribbon is a symbol for Wesley College to say that ribbon by ribbon, they are united for drug free youth.

Elizabeth Goff, Counselor, Wesley College

“The problem of drugs touches all schools if we are honest with ourselves. So we know we have to do intentional efforts in the area of drug prevention.”

A recent survey by the National Drug Abuse Control Council indicates that an increasing number of students from standard six to sixth form are either smoking cigarettes, marijuana, crack cocaine or getting high on alcohol. This does not include the number of younger children who are also using illegal drugs. The message in the parade was clear: Get real. Real Drug Free.

Shanine Bruce, Fourteen Years Old

“Get real. Don’t take drugs because many youths like myself or younger are taking a lot of drugs and destroying their system and their bodies and that is not right.”

Sharilka Dennison, Fourteen Years Old

“I think they should accept the Lord Jesus Christ in their life and know the better part of life. That is what I think.”

While it will take more than just saying “no” to drugs to get rid of the problem, the students are hoping that just as some youths are being negatively influenced by their fellow peers, they can be encouraged by the knowledge that most young people enjoy a drug free life.

The parade may be part of an awareness week, but Wesley’s students and staff are committed to fighting drugs all year round.

Elizabeth Goff

“We do have students who from time to time, we do run into students. There are also another group of students who are affected by someone’s drug use. That is an important group because we need to be able to identify those students and be able to give them all the support and help that they need, that they can handle that kind of problem in the appropriate ways.”

On Thursday Wesley students will make pledges committing themselves to a drug free lifestyle.

On Thursday night Wesley is holding an informational evening for parents. Topics include the signs of drug use, the parent’s role in drug prevention and coping with a child who is using drugs.

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