Red Ribbon Week Brings International Drug Abuse Prevention Speaker

David Parnell
David Parnell

An internationally known speaker with a checkered past will soon be visiting the area to spread his message about the dangers of methamphetamine. David Parnell is not only an author, husband and father of seven who hails from Tennessee, but he is also a methamphetamine and suicide survivor, recovering addict and alcoholic, former drug dealer and convicted felon, who has since devoted his life to educating others about the horrific effects methamphetamine can have on one’s life.

Parnell spent 23 years addicted to drugs before attempting suicide by shooting himself in the face with an assault rifle. He said he was introduced to marijuana at the age of 13 before turning to harder drugs such as cocaine and alcohol, and used methamphetamine for the first time when he was 21. Soon, he attempted to take his own life while high following a domestic dispute on Feb. 21, 2003.

Now, several years and 30 surgeries later, he has dedicated himself to speaking the truth about drugs in an effort to prevent others from traveling down the same path.

For Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 20-31, he will appear in the area to give his inspirational message. Parnell will make an appearance in Rochester at the Cross Church on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. before visiting Plymouth on Oct. 23 at Christo’s Banquet Hall at 6:30 p.m. He will speak in Kewanna at the Kewanna Community Building at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 27, and he will visit the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.