FORT SILL, Okla. -- Robert Dodrill, Fort Sill Army Substance Abuse Program, believes the goal of Red Ribbon Week is to educate children so they can go home and educate their parents.

"That's the way it works. Kids learn smoking is bad at school and they come home and say 'mom, dad you can't smoke. That's bad.' They might do it for drugs, too."

To get that message out, Dodrill and his team are painting the town red, so to speak. National Red Ribbon Week is Oct. 22-31 so they are tying red ribbons all across Fort Sill and Lawton from the Polo Field to 2nd Street downtown. Dodrill said the imagery could get the anti-drug conversation going.

"I think it lets the community know, the kids especially, that it's red ribbon week. It might be a discussion piece where why do we have ribbons up everywhere? It's not Christmas yet," said Dodrill.

People may have their reasons for using or trying drugs, but there are plenty of reasons not to.

"They think if they use a drug it's helping them. A lot of times they're using it to mask some type of pain that they have in their life, but there's other means to do that. Go actually see a real doctor find out what's going on. Drugs will ruin your life in the long run," said Dodrill.

An even simpler breakdown of why someone should not do drugs, Dodrill gives the Family Feud version of his own top three:
#1 Bad for your health
#2 They're illegal
#3 The economy is going downhill, save your money!

Even prescription drugs when not taken properly or left unsecured can be an unnecessary risk.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to expiration dates. If you take an expired pill it might not do what you think it's going to do. The other thing is if you have a lot of pills in your house, kids these days they're actually going through medicine cabinets and taking pills out and taking them to parties. That's why it's best to lock them up where they can't find them," said Dodrill.

The Drug Enforcement Administration wants any extra medication that could be harm to the community off the streets. So they're hosting a National Prescription Take Back Day on Fort Sill Oct. 29 at the Main Post Exchange food court from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's open to the community to drop off any unwanted solid and liquid medication either prescribed or over-the-counter. Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will no be accepted due to the potential hazard of blood. Staff from ASAP and the pharmacy will be on hand as well to answer any questions.

Page last updated Thu October 20th, 2011 at 00:00