As the largest drug-abuse prevention campaign in the United States, Red Ribbon Week focuses mainly on drug abuse prevention among youth.
As a Delaware drug rehab, we know that addiction often starts from a young age. Also, experimenting with drugs or being exposed to substance abuse at a young age increases a child’s risk of drug use and addiction in the future. Because exposure and family history are two of the most common risk factors for alcoholism and drug addiction, Red Ribbon Week is another important event that exposes the need for awareness and addiction education at an early age. To aid in spreading the word, we’re sharing the Red Ribbon Week meaning and ways you can participate.
What Is Red Ribbon Week?
Red Ribbon Week 2021 starts on Saturday, October 23rd, and ends on Sunday, October 31st. Red Ribbon Week began after the death of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was brutally tortured and murdered by drug traffickers he was investigating in 1985. As a tribute to their friend, Henry Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter started “Camarena Club” and began promoting and wearing red ribbons to show opposition to drugs. It wasn’t until 1988 that the National Family Partnership (NFP) organized the first National Red Ribbon Week with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary Chairpersons
Since then, the meaning behind Red Ribbon Week has been to represent our pledge to live drug-free and honors the sacrifice of those who have lost their lives in the fight against drugs. Today, the NFP continues to coordinate campaigns for families, schools, and communities across the U.S. every year. Wearing red ribbons in October continues to represent the nation’s pledge and desire to live drug-free. Along with other national events related to drug prevention, Red Ribbon Week also honors those like Camarena who have lost their lives trying to fight back against drug use and distribution. Today, it’s the nation’s largest and oldest drug prevention awareness campaign.
Red Ribbon Week Activities
Red Ribbon Week gears specifically towards youths. The teen years tend to be a time of exploration and self-discovery, during which many kids experiment with drugs and alcohol. Whether it’s due to family history, exposure, trauma, or social pressures, teens often test their boundaries during these years. The desire to do something new or risky is a normal part of teen development, but it can also be dangerous. That’s why Red Ribbon Week encourages addiction education at a young age to prevent drug and alcohol abuse later on in life.
October is approaching, and you may be wondering how you can participate. Below are some Red Ribbon Week ideas and activities that you or kids that you know can be a part of.
- 2021 Red Ribbon Week Campus Video PSA Contest
- DEA Red Ribbon Week Patch Program
- National Red Ribbon Week Photo Contest
- Contact your elected officials about issuing a proclamation declaring Red Ribbon Week in your community
- Display a basket of red ribbons at your place of work for visitors to take, along with copies of the Red Ribbon Week fact card (ask permission first, of course)
- Submit a public service announcement about Red Ribbon Week activities to a local radio station
- Post fact sheets, logos, and other notices on your social media
- Have employees wear red
- Display red ribbon posters and cards at work
- Post fact sheets and notices about Red Ribbon Week throughout your building or office
Although Red Ribbon Week focuses on drug prevention, it also supports aiding those who are currently struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. If someone you know has a drug or drinking problem, a great way to help them is to look into drug treatment programs that could help. For instance, Banyan Treatment Centers Delaware offers drug and alcohol treatment that focuses on various substance use disorders.
If you’re currently battling addiction, do not wait to get help. To learn how our inpatient rehab in Delaware can help you regain your health and sobriety, call us at 888-280-4763.
September is National Recovery Month