FMHS students encouraged to 'Rise Above" drug abuse

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FRUITA, Colo. A new campaign is making its way through the state trying to stop teenagers from picking up drugs.

"If we can help teens navigate their teenage years without experimenting with drugs, you give them a lifelong gift," said Kent MacLennan, executive director of Rise Above Colorado.

Rise Above Colorado representatives paid a visit to Fruita Monument High School Thursday, the day after they launched the campaign in Denver.

Students signed a banner in the school hallway to support drug-free living.

"To see more people not doing drugs and to see more people buying into what we've been trying to promote, it definitely is a good feeling," said Hudson Robison, a FMHS senior and teen council representative for Rise Above Colorado.

The campaign's focus is prescription drug abuse as Colorado is ranked number two of states with the worst pain pill abuse cases.

42% of teenagers said it's easy for them to get pills from their parents' medicine cabinet and 25% don't believe these drugs are addictive.

"They say it's easier to get than beer," MacLennan said. "When you combine a low perception of risk of using these drugs that are perceived to be safe because they're prescribed by a doctor, you combine that with easy access. It's a recipe for some real serious consequences."

Rise Above Colorado representatives said 90% of addictions start when people are teenagers.

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