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Drug Awareness Day Speaker - Fabian RamirezThe student council of Laurel High School held a Drug Awareness Day and invited youth motivational speaker Fabian Ramirez along with Montana’s Attorney General. More than 20 speakers from different agencies were invited to speak at workshops throughout the day. Fabian kicked off the day by using humor to communicate the harmful effects of using drugs and alcohol.

Ramirez used the analogy of how the brain works the same way as basic operating software that a computer has. The more experiences we have in life, the more our brain develops, as if it is installing software. We grow by using our 5 senses: Touch, Smell, Sight, Taste and Hearing. Our brain develops over a 20 year period, and anything we do to stop the growth of our brain can be detrimental.

When teens use psychoactive drugs such as alcohol or marijuana, their brain could skip a step it needs to develop properly. Drugs mess with the basic functions that brains have and it causes it to go wild. Ramirez said it’s like a computer having a virus, it effects what it was created to do. Fabian used the example of smoking marijuana. When a person smokes, it doesn’t matter if they just finished eating at a buffet, their brain will tell them that they are hungry. This is why teens often get the munchies after smoking.

The scariest part of using psychoactive drugs is that they cause your heart rate to increase and if your body doesn’t know how to control your heart rate, it could stop beating. Marijuana causes the blood vessels in the eyeball to expand. What happens is arteries in the eyeball expands making the eyes to appear bloodshot and the eyelids will want to shut. This is why Glaucoma patients are prescribed marijuana to smoke. When teens abuse this drug, it causes them to have mood changes, often feeling food with constant laughter. We must continue to educate teens on why staying away from drug usage is important not only during their teens years but throughout their lifetime. If you are a school administrator, you may consider having anti-drug activities and hiring a Red Ribbon Week Speaker every October to help reduce the demand for drugs in your community.

Fabian is an energetic, humorous and very talented speaker who uses his experience to connect with young people. His message is strong and clear, and I highly recommend him! – Daniel J. Dunlap, Special Agent

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