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Students pledge to fight prescription drug abuse

Students pose with banners marking 'We Are Hope' Students pose with banners marking 'We Are Hope'

In partnership with HopeRx, students in Henderson County's six public high schools took a stand against substance abuse during a week-long "We Are Hope" campaign leading up to spring break.

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Through a campaign organized by high schools' student government organizations and leaders, students at Balfour Education Center, North Henderson, West Henderson, East Henderson, Hendersonville and Henderson County Early College high schools will be learning about substance abuse and misuse March 30-April 3.

At their March 18 meeting, Henderson County commissioners adopted a resolution recognizing the last week of school before Spring Break as the local high schools' united stand against substance abuse.

The week kicked off with assemblies at each school featuring locals in the community who have either personally overcome substance abuse or seen firsthand the devastating effects of addiction. Daily awareness activities will stress the importance of remaining substance free and throughout the campaign, each school will post banners bearing the school's mascot and a pledge to be substance free, which includes abstaining from the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs not prescribed to the student.

Students signed the banners throughout the week, and the "We Are Hope" campaign will culminate at 11 a.m. Friday, April 3, when all six banners will be hung from the Historic County Courthouse balcony.

"I am honored to be working with students to raise awareness about the importance of remaining substance free," HopeRx director Julie Huneycutt said. "The student government at each high school has taken an active part in designing the campaign for their schools. Ribbons in each school color will be available for all students who sign a banner to remain substance free and ribbons will be placed on trees at school campuses to represent the pledge."

"They have chosen a very strategic week to kick off this campaign: the week before spring break," Huneycutt said. "It is very important to the students that our community knows this is an event to stand as one school system. There is no rivalry! They are excited to come together to address this issue."

HopeRx is a coalition designed to unite community leaders, parents, educators, students, healthcare providers, EMS workers and volunteers, law enforcement, the judicial system, civic organizations and faith groups throughout Henderson County to work collaboratively to address the issues of prescription drug abuse, one of the top three health problems in the county.