Red Ribbon Week


Kaydence Osgood, Journalist

The week of October 25th to October 29th PAL put on red ribbon week. Red ribbon week is celebrated at schools all across the country in hopes to bring awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol to students. PAL member and Senior Lauren Dickinson (pictured at the top) stated that the purpose of red ribbon week is “sharing stories and making sure people are aware of the associated consequences with taking drugs underage, alcohol underage, especially actually, for example, drinking and driving. Or the fact that sometimes at parties if something goes wrong people are less inclined to call an ambulance.” PAL member and Senior Megan Martodam also mentioned that the purpose was to teach students how to help others with substance abuse and give those who struggle with it resources. PAL member and Senior Kyla Abdelgawad pointed out, “Kids have somewhat normalized doing drugs and alcohol…but we want to bring awareness to the fact that it’s not supposed to be normal…we want to show you that there are other ways to have fun.”


To help spread awareness PAL had an event every day. Monday they did trivia at lunch on different facts associated with overdoses, drunk driving, and other related topics. Tuesday they passed out red bracelets (pictured bottom right corner) that read, “DRUG USE IS LIFE ABUSE” Wednesday they had a poster signing at lunch (pictured at the top) where students signed a poster promising to be drug and alcohol-free. Thursday, in collaboration with ONE on campus, there was a speaker at the Newport Beach Civic Center about Accidental Overdose. Friday students were supposed to wear red in support of being drug and alcohol-free. Throughout the week there were posters (some are pictured above) all over campus with witty sayings on being drug and alcohol-free.


When asked what the personal significance of red ribbon week was to her Dickinson stated, “personally I’ve just never really been someone who’s drawn to drugs or alcohol and one of the things about being on PAL is that we do pledge to be drug and alcohol-free, it’s a big part of our club. We try and make people realize that they can have fun without drugs and alcohol. I know we have a lot of people in PAL who do it for athletic reasons or just do it because they have a history of addiction in the family. For me, it’s just been a choice that I made…over the years going to our events and hearing stuff from people who have suffered from drug and alcohol addiction it’s just felt so powerful and I don’t want to see myself go down that road.” Martodam responded with, “I have friends whose parents…have struggled with alcoholism or other substance abuse issues and it hurts to see how their parents almost take it out on them or how it changed the person’s personality.” Abdelgawad verbalized that, “It’s a personal belief within my family as well that we don’t do drugs and alcohol…I want to show and educate others as to why I made that personal choice.”


Abdlegawad wants students to know that “if you [or anyone you know] are struggling with abuse with either drugs or alcohol we’re here for you and so is one recovery on campus.”