It’s Red Ribbon Week in Montana which means it is time to raise awareness for teen drug abuse. Since its beginning in 1985, the red ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world.
When it comes to alcohol and drugs, Montana ranks above the national average.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 61 percent of teens said they have never smoked a cigarette compared to 68 percent nationally, and 13 percent said that they smoked a cigarette within the past 30 days of the survey. This is compared to only 11 percent nationally.
20 percent of high school students reported that they drank alcohol before the age of thirteen in Montana which is three percent higher than the national rate.
And, 38 percent of students in Montana reported that they have used marijuana at least once.
Edward Sypinski a prevention specialist with Alcohol and Drug services of Gallatin County said the community of Bozeman is really stepping up.
Sypinski said, “Our law enforcement is a key part to this, the other part is we work closely with the other part is we work closely with the Missouri River Drug Task Force which works in 5 different counties and helps enforce drugs. And also, at the end of this week on the 28th of October it’s National Drug Take Back Day.”