Drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, taking illegal drugs, and sniffing glue can all cause serious damages to the human body. Some drugs severely impair a person's ability to make healthy choices and decisions. Teens that drink, for example, are more likely to get involved in dangerous situations, such as driving under the influence or having unprotected sex. Each drug use has different physical and psychological effects. However, one harmful effect that is common in all drugs and addictive substances' is that they take full control of the brain's normal activity.

Every year Orange Walk Technical High School dedicates an entire week to promote awareness on drugs and their negative effects. And today the week officially kicked off with a clean up campaign in Orange Walk Town. Janine Ayuso reports.

Janine Ayuso-Reporting

Today hundreds of students from the Orange Walk Technical High School gathered at different locations in town to assist in cleaning up the community. As part of the schools Drug Awareness Program teachers introduced students to a completely different alternative to drug usage by providing them with a sense of civic pride and responsibility.

Lisia Castillo, School Councilor

"Today marks the beginning of our drug awareness week, we do a whole week of different activities and we started this morning with the opening ceremony and we have with us a very special guest speaker who is the director of NDACC and following the opening ceremony all the students, all the different classes went to the different assigned areas all over the town that they will clean paint, wash down different things.  The purpose of it really is that we wanted them to see that there are other ways that you can feel good, there others ways that you can enjoy yourself and one of the ways that we feel is that when you give back to the community it gives you so more backing in accomplishment and in pride and so we want that, that drugs really can't give you and so you know when they pass, let's say they paint something and they pass by that and they are going to look at it and they are going to say you know what I did that and feel good about that and so that is what I want them to do and also in line with that I want them also realize that they have to give back to the community, we can't just as young people growing up you can't just get, get, get but you also have to give back and that is an important part of an education process for them to realize that you have to give back to your community."

While some students might not be too fond of the week long process, Castillo hopes that those who do are able to inflict a positive reaction on them.

Lisia Castillo, School Councilor

"Well, we know young people will be young people and the ones that really and truly understand the purpose of it and take pride on whatever work they do will get the complete picture of what is the purpose of this, you look around and you will see the ones them that really and truly are putting their all into it and those are the ones, you will have other ones that miss, but hopefully they will learn from those around them and peer pressure them in a positive way to do their best when they are doing this.  The town Council work with us every year they support us, they give us materials and I really want to thank them for the assistance."

Despite the fact that the week's activity has just begun the message has already been instilled.

Kimberly Williams, Student

"I feel very good because we are giving back to the community, today we are having a cleanup day and all the different classes are assigned to different spots in the community, in a way everybody will say oh we did this when we pass by we say we do that and it is really good to see that we can give back to the community, we don't only take, take, and take we give back to the community in manner that we clean the place that other people don't do and it is a good thing to have a program in our school every year."


Eider Romero, Student

"Well right now as you can see they are sweeping this area, they are painting the trees and are beautifying the place and it makes us feel good to see all the students put into this and the work as well as a team to achieve our goal.  Some people do not appreciate what they have but only appreciate it when it has already gone so we are trying to get this place beautiful so that it stays this way for a long time."

The students covered areas such as Banquitas, the Multi Purpose Complex, the People's Stadium and the Nature Park in the Louisiana Area.

A number of other activities will be held by the school in order to promote drug awareness in all its students.