Students at Loveland Intermediate School created paw prints, declaring they are “PAWsitively Proud” to be drug free.

District-wide initiative to embrace drug-free and healthy lifestyle

Loveland, Ohio – The national Red Ribbon campaign reached students at Loveland October 23-31, with activities focused on living drug-free and healthy lives. Under the theme of “Life is your journey, travel drug free,” all students – from the Kindergarteners to the high school seniors – were engaged in age-appropriate activities to reinforce the importance of doing the right thing and making the right choices.

“It is important to celebrate Red Ribbon Week to make sure that the facts the students are getting are indeed the facts,” said Jayson Bruce, Loveland Middle School assistant principal and athletic director. “We know that the younger we can educate our youth, the more likely they are to not experiment with drugs and alcohol. It is also important for our students to understand that those that do not try or use are in the majority. It’s all about starting great conversations.”

Second year that the Loveland High School Student Council developed and led the activities at the high school.

With themed dress-up days, drug and bully-free wristbands, stickers and announcements, a series of anti-drug messages were shared daily with the students. It was the third annual Red Ribbon Week for the district and the second year that the Loveland High School Student Council developed and led the activities at the high school.

“Red Ribbon week is a fun, interactive way to keep students informed and on the right path early on so we can all keep our journeys through life drug free!” said Student Council Member and LHS Senior Grace Powell.

Earlier in the month, the Student Council also worked with Loveland Educating Against Alcohol and Drugs (LEAAD) and PreventionFIRST! – a Cincinnati-based coalition addressing youth substance abuse – to present a program focused on juuling, vaping, and opioids to the ninth graders at Loveland.

Student at Loveland High School celebrate Red Ribbon Week with a “Lei off Drugs” theme on Friday, October 26.

“Newly released statistics by the CDC are alarming – although tobacco is still the leading cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States, almost five million middle and high school students in our country use at least one tobacco product,” said Loveland District Nurse Judy Leamy.  “JUULs, e-cigarettes with some of the highest nicotine content, have exploded in popularity especially among teens, with a nearly 800 percent increase in sales last year compared to 2016.”

The work of educating students and families about drugs and alcohol continues throughout the year with programs like “Right Under Your Nose” (RUYN), which offers parents and other adults in the community information on the negative outcomes of drugs, how to spot the signs of use, and how to talk to youth about drugs and alcohol. Children with parents who regularly talk about the dangers of drugs are 42 percent less likely to use drugs compared to those that don’t, but only about 25 percent of teens report actually having these conversations at home. Stay tuned for information on LEAAD and RUYN events planned for the school year.

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