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Dan Panetti Dr. Hal Urschel David M. Kniffen Jr.

To kick off the school’s observance of “National Red Ribbon Week,” Prestonwood Christian Academy students in grades 9-12 participated in an eye-opening program, “How to Protect Yourself and Your Friends from Drugs and Alcohol,” featuring Dr. Harold Urschel, MD, MMA, chief medical strategist for Enterhealth, an addiction treatment company. Five hundred and fifty students attended the assembly to hear Urschel’s compelling message about the impact of alcohol and drugs on the brain.

Dr. Urschel described addiction and how it affects teens, signs of teen substance abuse, top addictive substances, and the latest scientific treatments for addiction. Following the presentation, small groups of students met with faculty members in breakout sessions to discuss the topic and what they heard and learned.

“In the effort to reach this generation with important information about drugs and alcohol, Dr. Urschel brings a new and valuable twist with a presentation that is not only informative, but inspirational as well,” said Dan Panetti, Prestonwood Christian Academy Worldview Director. “He did an outstanding job taking some very vital and complex information and making it memorable and easily understandable for our students.”

National Red Ribbon Week, established in 1988, is observed October 23-31 as part of the National Family Partnership Red Ribbon Campaign®. The goal of the campaign is to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention programs. The 2015 National Red Ribbon Week theme is “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.” For more information, visit www.redribbon.org.

“It’s important for high school students to understand that the brain is not fully developed until the mid-20s, so alcohol and drug use during their teenage years can cause significant brain injury,” explained Urschel. “Kids who are educated about the risks of alcohol and drugs are far less likely to use them, so Enterhealth applauds Prestonwood Christian Academy for allowing us to share this message with their students.”