Governor Eddie Baza Calvo will join island leaders to raise awareness about drug abuse! October will be proclaimed Red Ribbon Month and Guamanians will come together to strengthen their voices about keeping our island safe and drugs off of our streets.
The proclamation signing will take place in Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood’s Courtroom in the District Court of Guam in HagÃ¥tÃ±a today at 10 a.m.
Below is Lt. Governor Ray Tenorior’s PDN Column where he addresses this issue.
A Weekly Column
By Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio
Illegal drugs don’t discriminate. They don’t care if you’re Chamorro, Filipino, Caucasian, Buddhist, Christian, poor, rich, young or old. They come into your life, grip you, do what they wish, and cause destruction. Weed, ecstasy, Molly, heroin, cocaine — whether you shoot, smoke, or swallow it — have damaging effects not just to the victims’ bodies, but their hopes and dreams for the future.
Think of everything you could ever want. For some, that’s a nice home, a good job, an education, and a loving family. Abusing drugs has the opposite effect — breaking homes, ruining lives, and defeating dreams.
We are a community that prides itself in protecting our most vulnerable and helping our families. The Guam Police Department works every day to keep our community safe. They do a tremendous job at keeping drugs off the streets, and away from our kids. Over the years, we’ve arrested over 514 local drug dealers. Guam Customs and Quarantine is continuously patrolling our borders — at the airport, the Port Authority of Guam, and the Post Offices. Since 2011, they’ve intercepted 37,465 grams of crystal methamphetamine, and 6,542 grams of marijuana.
Soon a program will be launching to visit with school children and teach them about the dangers of drugs. We encourage them to lead drug-free lives.
If you, or someone you know, are struggling with addiction, it’s important to know there is help out there. There are numerous organizations, which can help you, your relative, or your friend. Addiction is a disease — one that affects thousands of Guamanians, and millions of Americans.
The Drug and Alcohol program, also known as New Beginnings, at the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center provides numerous services for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. From education to rehabilitation and recovery, the counselors there will have answers for you. Give them a call at 475-5438 for more information. You can also call the Crisis Hotline at 647-8833/4.
October is known as Red Ribbon Month on Guam. This month, our community will come together and raise awareness about drug problems that plague our island, raise awareness about their destruction, and ways we can deter young Guamanians from a life of crime and addiction. This year, we have another chance.
I implore the leaders in our community — senators, judges, businessmen, lawyers, doctors, and teachers — to join Governor Calvo and I to implementing methods of prevention and rehabilitation throughout the year. Let’s strengthen our message…strengthen our voices against these crimes against our children, our families, and our community.
Let’s celebrate the progress we’ve made by keeping drugs off the streets, and out of our schools. But, let’s also start thinking of ways to help us realize a day when drug abuse is just a nightmare of the past; where drug rehabilitation is an optional program. Where drugs aren’t being passed around in our schools. Let’s look toward the future of an island where Customs goes to the Post Office as a precaution, not as a routine. Let’s imagine a future where more and more young Guamanians are graduating from college realizing their dreams and seizing their futures, rather than behind bars.
To the men and women on the frontlines, the social workers, the police officers, the school counselors, the teachers, the customs officers, the drug court judges, the prevention staff, mentors, parents, and role models — thank you for your commitment to our children, and for helping them realize their dreams.