The Drug Free Communities Support Program, 4th Annual Drug Free Youth Summit was held at the Scioto County Welcome Center on Friday. The summit was attended by student representatives of school districts throughout Scioto County.
“This year’s Summit has a, Military Theme and we are partnering with the Ohio National Guard. Each teen will have a free T-shirt and dog tags, and we will be marching these DFC (Drug Free Communities) ‘troops’ and their units (schools) to the courthouse,” said Lisa Roberts, event spokeswoman.
On their way to the courthouse participants was lead in drug free chants, promoting the non-use of drugs.
When the participants arrived at the Scioto County Courthouse they were addressed by Scioto County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Alan Lemons.
He spoke to those in attendance about the gradual increase the courts seen in drug cases.
“When my predecessor started 36 years ago, it was rare we ever had a drug case in juvenile court. Now it’s rare if we have a case where drugs are not involved, its bad choices kids are making. It’s the parents of young children that are making bad choices, that are just consuming this court,” Lemons said.
Lemons said he has probation officers, whose job is to convince children to make better choices, when it comes to drugs.
“Life is about choices, you can live your life well if you just continue to make good choices,” Lemons said. “I think a lot of people make a choice to turn to drugs for happiness and that, to me is a crazy idea. I don’t think we’ve ever received a child in this court who’s happy. We always receive the kids who are on drugs. they’re not happy, they are miserable and they are worse than they were before they made that choice.”
Before the conclusion of his remarks, Lemons quoted Abraham Lincoln who once said, “People will be just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
“If you think you’re unhappy, just do one simple thing, change your mind about it,” Lemons said.
There were roughly 150 participants in the summit.
After his remarks participants of the summit marched back to the Scioto County Welcome Center for the rest of the day.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT