By SRO Kjell Michelsen

Working on various causes with our SADD club members is one of the most rewarding things I do as an SRO. Although it can be hard and at times a little frustrating getting even a few students together to plan on various upcoming projects because those who are active in the club also are busy with other school activities, be it academic, sport or other clubs. So when things come together and we are able to accomplish goals and tasks that is something which gives me that extra push to plan on new adventures and projects down the road.

Last week with the great help of Dustin Street at the high school and one hastily scheduled planning meeting, some of our SADD club members were able to come up with a short and to the point video for a Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the National Road Safety Foundation – Driving Skills 101 Contest. Last year we entered a similar nationwide contest, and our video was ranked among the top 10 of all entries nationwide.

This week the SADD club has partnered with Christy Smith, the director of the Unicoi County Prevention Coalition, to host the National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, which is a part of the National Institute of Health efforts to combat drug and alcohol abuse among teens. It supplies students with facts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music or from friends.

Recently in a new report from the National Safety Council, more people (1 in 96) will die of an Opioid overdose than in a car crash (1 in 103). This is a serious issue, and I feel a strong obligation to address this in any meaningful way I can, hence our effort to push out the facts about the dangers of using and abusing drugs and alcohol. If we can reach out to just a handful of students about the risks and pitfalls around these issues, it would be well worth it. Until next time, be safe, be happy and preach about the dangers of substance abuse.