Drug Prevention PSA’s
This summer PREP employed 17 teens from Basalt to Rifle and put them to work for their communities in a myriad of activities and events (more on that in a later blog). We also educated them during our weekly meetings by bringing in guest speakers to teach on topics ranging from preventing child sexual abuse, dating violence and the rape culture, the dangers and legalities of sexting, the effects of violence in videos and identity theft. Angela Marion from the Foundation for a Drug Free World spent one day educating the group and another 2 meetings guiding them in their development of original drug prevention PSA’s.
Then she joined us for a public showing of two videos and one spoken word message at Carbondale’s Ignite Open Mic for Youth at First Friday.
Because we invited the youth to create their own message on the drug of their choosing, we received a unique blend of thoughtful, funny and at times raw entries. While their approaches were quite different, their messages were all the same; Don’t Do Drugs! We think this message will resonate more with youth since it’s from youth.
Chip, a Glenwood Springs High School student, along with some help from a Coal Ridge High School student, Nate, created a PSA about marijuana that makes you pay attention in order to receive the silent, written facts. The somber music looms in the background lending an ominous effect to this message leading to the conclusion to just not do drugs in the first place. And the special effects at the end, give a clue to more side effects!
Next up was an entertaining, catchy message about the effects of LSD. Spencer and Colin, both students at Basalt High School, put their song-writing skills to work when they reinvented the lyrics and put action to their message. While you surely got a chuckle out of the creative, original acting these two friends bring to the table, there are enough facts that still get through to let you know that LSD is NOT something to be taken lightly. Or at all!
Lastly, Josefina, a senior at Rifle High School, spoke her story-telling poetry telling of the dangers of getting trapped in a relationship overrun by drugs. Her messages were raw and drawn from her own life experiences. They were so powerful that the middle school principal from Basalt invited her to come to the school and talk to the ELL students so that they can see how you can make life altering choices for the better.
A common theme for Garfield County PREP this summer has been Connecting the Dots. Giving teens an open platform to speak from their heart; whether it be soft spoken, funny or real, made the adults in the audience stand up and take notice. Connections were made. Messages were heard. There’s more to be said. Will you be listening?