'Red Ribbon Week' kicks off with rally at State Capitol

Posted at 4:47 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 19:27:20-04

Ben Chappell started using drugs at age 13, around the same age as some of the kids in the red ribbon rally audience on Monday. Now he's two years clean, thanks in part to finding his voice. 

"Poetry is definitely a natural high for me. In my mind, this idea of natural highs is just feeling a sense of accomplishment or having endorphins rush to you suddenly its a reason worth doing anything,

At the rally, kids listened to speakers who've dealt with drugs first-hand, teaching them that peer pressure might make drugs seem appealing as a way to boost popularity, but it comes with severe consequences. 

"The not so glamorous side of doing drugs is it can fundamentally change who you are and ruin your life," said Chappell. 

Usually performing for individuals much older than elementary level, Ben has been learning to channel his message to even the youngest listeners. 

"Trying to figure a way to speak to them in a way that's understandable is incredibly important, and I really hope that… I hope that they don't ever do drugs I mean that's the simplest way to put it," said Chappell. 

And they're following the example. 

"Think healthy, and like Taylor said, go get help from a professional," said some 5th graders in attendance. 
More activities will be happening at schools across the valley this week. While it's not necessarily a way to fix the widespread problem, the conversation it starts can be a step in the right direction. 

"Red ribbon really does not change the issue. Me, I don't change the issue. But if red ribbon rally or my poetry can reach one kid or one person, it's important, and it's worth it," said Chappell. 


For details on Nampa PD's drug take back: