It's bad enough worrying about homework, tests and class projects in middle school, but how about throwing drugs into the mix? Some students say it’s a choice they face daily.
Clay Leonard, a middle school peer mentor, says, "I think it's much harder in middle school. The temptations are much higher because of the people you’re around."
In Lowndes County, Red Ribbon Week is encouraging kids to just say no once and for all.
Leonard adds, "For me it's just good to know we're being supported by trying to do what's right."
But is the anti-drug message getting through to these adolescents?
Ladaire Roberson, an 8th grade student, says, "I think it was more effective in elementary school than it is in middle school because most middle school kids don't pay attention to things like this."
But DARE officers say many kids are simply pretending not to hear a message that's being sent loud and clear this week. Officers say the local numbers prove it.
Stephen Findlay, a DARE officer, says, "We're probably a little bit less than the national average. Our overall numbers for people not using are respectable. Most of the kids don't smoke, don't drink and don't use drugs. Is it a problem though, yes."
DARE officers say Red Ribbon Week serves as one important piece of the "drug-free" puzzle.