CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Oct. 31, 2018) -- Red Ribbon Week, a national campaign to bring substance abuse awareness to youth, was held Oct. 23 to 31 at Arnn Elementary School on the Sagamihara Family Housing Area and Zama American Middle High School on Camp Zama.

This year's theme was "Life is your journey. Travel drug free."

Christine Coller, Camp Zama's Army Substance Abuse Program specialist, said she and her team focused on conveying the theme's message to the youth throughout the campaign week.

"The research has recognized if we get to the youth early to let them know about the dangers of drugs, we could help them as far as protecting their brains," said Coller.

Coller visited Arnn Elementary School and explained to fourth- to sixth-grade students that it's important to know how and why to always say no to drugs.

Coller and the ASAP team also visited ZAMH and set up a booth in the cafeteria to promote the message.

Kylie Halog, an 8th-grader at ZAMHS, took a red ribbon pledge, received the red ribbon and tested her knowledge about the dangers of substance abuse.

"Anyone can start (using drugs) at any age," said Kylie, "I think it's best to know (the information) early."