A select group of Randolph County students will have the opportunity today to participate in a national event. Along with teens from Harrison and Taylor counties, the students will take part in the first National Above the Influence Day.
The local discussion, scheduled this afternoon at Davis & Elkins College, will be interwoven into the national event, featuring similar youth forums in Maryland, Nevada and Washington, D.C. The teens will talk about what they do to resist drug and alcohol use and stay above negative influences.
A program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Above the Influence efforts focus on working with local youth-serving organizations to deliver messages, activities and support to help teens stay "above the influence" of drugs, alcohol and risky behavior.
Locally, the Randolph County America's Promise Coalition teamed with the National Youth Leadership Initiative coalition in Randolph County to help organize today's discussion.
By coincidence, this positive event is occurring the same week that six local individuals have been indicted on federal drug charges in Elkins. All six are charged with methamphetamine-related crimes. The steady stream of meth arrests in Randolph County this year has been alarming, and it illustrates just how at risk our local youth are when it comes to illegal drugs.
October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, and we feel events like Above the Influence Day are important tools for teaching our children about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
We encourage readers to follow our coverage of today's discussion at D&E and also to find out more about the Above the Influence campaign at abovetheinfluence.com.
The future of our youth - and this country - is dependent on our children learning how to stay "above the influence."