“YOLO. Be Drug Free” is the theme for the 2016 Red Ribbon Week. Created by two six grade students in Pennsylvania, “You Only Live Once” encourages other students to be drug free. This year Red Ribbon Week is celebrated October 23 – 31, 2016.
National Family Partnership was “established in the 1980s as a grassroots organization” by concerned parents in response to the killing of a DEA agent. Today, over thirty years later, the Partnership works with local coalitions, PTO groups, and parent committees to share information, serve as a resource and as a national voice about drugs through awareness, advocacy and resources.
The Red Ribbon symbol helps to “raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.” It also “serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.”
Joining NFP “enables parents and coalitions to have direct access to our nation’s leaders and decision makers,” on a local, state, and national level.
The NFP organization also provides resources and “acts as a national clearing house of prevention literature. Partners can use these NFP resources to help educate others in preventative campaigns “such as Red Ribbon Campaign, Red Ribbon Certified Schools, Lock Your Meds, and Safe Homes/Safe Parties.”
While some people may not put tobacco use in the same category as other illicit drugs, nicotine “is one of the most addictive drugs ever used, and is the most common addiction in American. Some researchers have even called it a “gateway drug” that leads to other drug use. Children who begin using tobacco at an early age, (before graduating from high school) “frequently develop into lifelong regular smoking, which typically turns into a strong addiction,” according to Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Talking to your children about the dangers of tobacco and nicotine use may prevent them from ever starting. Setting clear rules about it and the consequences, could mean the difference between your children trying tobacco or avoiding it. The same approach can be said for other drugs. The Red Ribbon blog has some tips to prevent drug use among children.
Check out the Red Ribbon organization to see how you can use their resources and ideas for a Red Ribbon week in your school, and to take the pledge to remain drug free. And while you are on the site, you can enter the contest for next year’s theme.
Click HERE to learn more about the Red Ribbon organization.