Red Ribbon Week no longer is about tying bows on trees, and it no longer is just a week.
In fact, Drug Safe Worthington has planned two weeks -- from Oct. 16 to Nov. 1 -- that will be packed with educational events and celebrations to focus attention on how to make the community safer and healthier and free from drug abuse and addiction.
The Red Ribbon campaign kicks off with a program called Understanding Addiction Behavior: Squirrel Logic, presented by Brad Lander, Ph.D., at Worthington Kilbourne High School from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 16.
Participants will learn how alcohol and drugs produce effects on the brain, what happens to adolescent brains over time and what modern treatments are available to help.
Youth to Youth will hold a separate session for middle and high school students, with a focus on underage drinking, the positive aspects of not drinking and how to be proud of a drug-free choice.
Light dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
From 9 to 10 a.m. Oct. 17 at the Griswold Senior Center, representatives from the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy will present information on how to avoid adverse side effects of prescription drugs during a program called Generation Rx: Getting the Best Results from Your Medications.
At noon Oct. 21, a ceremony at the Worthington Police Department will be held to unveil a prescription-drug drop box where community members will be able to drop off unwanted prescription medications 24 hours a day.
At 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27, a connected-community concert will feature the band, The Apple Bottom Gang, on the Village Green.
From 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 28, the program, Tyler's Light: Speak Up And Save A Life, will be presented at Thomas Worthington High School.
A light dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and a concurrent workshop for middle and high school students will be conducted by Youth to Youth.
Operation: Street Smart will be presented by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29 at Thomas Worthington High School.
Participants will learn about current drug trends, terminology and paraphernalia. They must be 21 to attend.
The campaign will wrap up with two dances at the high schools for middle school students.
Students from the feeder schools for Worthington Kilbourne are invited to the black-light dance at that school from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 25. The Thomas Worthington dance will be the same hours Nov. 1.
Drug Safe Worthington was formed in 2011 to help combat growing problems with drug abuse in the community. Its purpose is to promote a culture that prevents drug and alcohol abuse while supporting individuals and families affected by substance abuse.