Kari Villafane

FORT STEWART, Ga. - This week we are celebrating National Red Ribbon Week. This is the largest and oldest drug prevention program in the United States. National Red Ribbon Week is celebrated every year from October 23- 31. It began in 1985 after the kidnap, torture and murder of Sergeant Enrique Camarena. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Web site, each year thousands of schools, communities and state and local drug abuse prevention organizations distribute red ribbons to honor Special Agent Camarena's memory. Every year, this program brings millions of people together to help raise awareness on drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use. The National Family Partnership is one of the sponsors for the Red Ribbon campaign. They provide information, resources and merchandise for schools and community agencies. A new theme is selected every year through a National contest. The theme for 2011 is, "It's up to me to be drug free".

Drugs are chemicals or substances that change the way our bodies work. They can be either helpful or harmful to you. The effects of a drug can differ depending on what kind of drug it is, how much of it you've taken and how often you use it. Even though substances may feel good, they can cause a lot of harm not only to you but also to others around you. Smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol and taking other illegal drugs can cause your body to have serious damage. It is more likely for teens that smoke or drink to get involved in more dangerous situations.

There are many different ways that you can support Red Ribbon Week. You can wear a Red Ribbon (symbolizes substance abuse) and also, you can go to www.redribboncoalition.com and register online to get a Red Ribbon Week training manual. You don't have to do a lot to make a major impact. Inform your friends and relatives on how drugs and alcohol can change their life. Just by doing small things like that can really make the biggest difference!

I will be participating in Red Ribbon Week by wearing my red ribbon. How about you?

Page last updated Wed October 26th, 2011 at 17:02