The East Feliciana Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council and District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla sponsored several events at East Feliciana schools Oct. 24-31 promoting Red Ribbon Week’s theme, “Love Yourself. Be Drug Free.”
The drug council, D’Aquilla, members of his office, Tony Myles of Capital Area Human Services, speaker Danna “Dr. Truth” Andrus and Ivan “Love-N-Pain” Toldson visited students.
The program began Oct. 22 with a stop at Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson.
Students were given the opportunity to tour the youth camp at DCI and listen to several offenders’ stories.
On Oct. 28, Andrus spoke to students at Clinton, Jackson and Slaughter elementary schools about anti-bullying and respecting others, according to Rhonda Torrence of the East Feliciana Drug and Alcohol Council.
Andrus, a Hurricane Katrina survivor and self-described product of the Orleans Parish School System, is retired from the Marine Corps and now a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Because of his extensive military background, Andrus understands the need for discipline and structure in the lives of youth, Torrence said, “making him an ideal candidate to speak to students during Red Ribbon Week.”
In addition, D’Aquilla and Clinton Police Chief Fred Dunn spoke to teens at East Feliciana High School about the dangers of synthetic marijuana, also known as mojo, and the seriousness of video voyeurism, Torrence said.
Rickie Collins, with the D.A.’s office, also spoke about bullying.
Myles assisted the drug council with a presentation on the specific dangers associated with synthetic marijuana.
Toldson addressed teens about the dangers and consequences of synthetic marijuana and performed a segment from a video he produced for Capital Area Human Services warning of the dangers of mojo while acknowledging the pressure to use it, Torrence said.
Toldson, 30, told students about his past which includes being shot, committing acts of violence and crimes and doing drugs.
Toldson said he has recovered from his addictions and currently works with patients at an area addiction recovery program.
Sponsored by the National Family Partnership, Red Ribbon Week is a national campaign about drug prevention education and advocacy, according to redribbon.org.