Grizzlies send a message to San Marcos youth to stay drug free

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Grizzlies send a message to San Marcos youth to stay drug free

Mission Hills students joined forces to spread awareness about the danger of drugs.

Mission Hills students joined forces to spread awareness about the danger of drugs.

Photo by Joseph Kamandy

Mission Hills students joined forces to spread awareness about the danger of drugs.

Photo by Joseph Kamandy

Photo by Joseph Kamandy

Mission Hills students joined forces to spread awareness about the danger of drugs.

Story by Hannah Larson, Grizzly Den Editor

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   Red Ribbon Week was created after the kidnapping, torture and killing of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) worker Enrique “Kiki” Camerena, who was murdered after working to expose a narcotics organization in Mexico. Harrison Blacklock (11) is the grandson of Camerena’s DEA partner, and Red Ribbon Week was a stark reminder of the deadly results of drug addiction.

   “My grandfather was working in the DEA and was partners with Enrique Camarena for a while, and my other grandfather was in the San Diego County Sheriffs’ Department, as well as my dad. I don’t like drugs in general because when you buy them, you support the drug dealers—and Enrique Camarena was one of the people who got tortured while trying to fight them, so supporting people who killed him—I can’t support that,” Blacklock said.

I don’t like drugs in general because when you buy them, you support the drug dealers—and Enrique Camarena was one of the people who got tortured while trying to fight them, so supporting people who killed him—I can’t support that,”

— Harrison Blacklock (11)

   From Oct. 23-31, Grizzlies joined students across the United States participating in Red Ribbon Week; from teen presenters encouraging elementary students to live a drug-free life to the Marijuana Prevention Initiative warning the freshmen class about the dangers of vaping, Mission Hills was actively involved in Red Ribbon Week’s efforts to warn youth about the devastation brought about by drug abuse. 

   “What attracted me to be a teen presenter was being able to give kids the knowledge that drugs are very harmful: I want to make sure kids know that because there’s a lot of peer pressure surrounding drugs, especially during high school, so you really want to get it into their heads while they’re young,” teen presenter Vanessa Hernandez (12) said.

     At Mission Hills, therapy dogs from the Love on a Leash organization came to comfort students and raise awareness about the painful reality of drug abuse, and DEA Agent Rocky Herron gave a presentation to sophomores encouraging them to commit to a bright future without substance abuse. Freshmen attended a presentation by the Marijuana Prevention Initiative and learned why marijuana is harmful to their bodies and minds, and Mr. Settle and the criminal justice department hosted an activity where students wore goggles to simulate driving under the influence of drugs.

   “I like showing people the harmful effects of drugs; it scares people, but I think it’s necessary. It helps people understand what happens when they buy those harmful types of products. There’s a lot of people who get hooked on drugs and it just leads to a downhill progression in their lives,” Blacklock said.

   Taking drugs as a way to cope with problems leads to physical, mental, emotional, and psychological issues that have the potential to plague users for years. The only way to avoid addiction and painful withdrawal is to refuse to abuse harmful substances. If you or someone you know is trapped in addiction, reach out to the MHHS counseling office or visit the school website to find a variety of organizations designed to help overcome drug abuse. 

Correction: Neither Harrison Blacklock’s grandparents nor friends were killed by drug dealers as was originally stated in the article. We regret this misunderstanding.