Red Ribbon Week: Preventing Youth Substance Abuse
SAMHSA recently released a community action guide to support the
National Family Partnership and community organizations nationwide
in the October celebration of Red Ribbon Week. The annual event
helps promote awareness of substance abuse prevention among youth.
"Red Ribbon Week is making important contributions to substance
abuse prevention awareness in America," said SAMHSA Administrator
Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. "We are proud to join the
National Family Partnership to encourage parents and other adults
to unite in raising drug-free youth."
The event honors the memory of a drug enforcement officer, Enrique
Camarena, who was murdered in 1985. Red Ribbon Week encourages individuals,
families, and communities to take a stand against the use of alcohol,
tobacco, and illegal drugs. The observance focuses on educating
the public on the destructive effects of alcohol and drugs, and
the health-positive alternatives that are available to youth and
adults. This year, approximately 80 million people across the country
participated in Red Ribbon Week and demonstrated their support for
promoting healthy, drug-free lifestyles.
guide, Unite for a Drug Free World: A Call to Action for Parents,
Schools, and Communities, contains a wealth of resources that
can be used by parents, teachers, administrators, advocates, health
educators, and others working to prevent substance abuse among young
people. For example, the guide offers a fact sheet, talking points,
a print-ready article, print and radio public service announcements,
a sample media pitch letter, and a sample proclamation. The guide
also provides practical tips for engaging the media in promoting
Red Ribbon Week and ideas for shaping media coverage.
As part of Red Ribbon Week observances across the Nation, participants
wear or display a red ribbon to symbolize zero tolerance for illegal
drug use by youth and a commitment to substance abuse prevention.
For Red Ribbon Week 2003, schools and community groups organized
a variety of activities including contests, workshops, rallies,
theatrical and musical performances, and other family-centered and
To order the community action guide, contact SAMHSA's National
Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at P.O. Box 2345,
Rockville, MD 20847-2345. Telephone: 1 (800) 729-6686
(English and Spanish) or 1 (800) 487-4889 (TDD). For more
information about Red Ribbon Week,
visit the National Family Partnership's Web site at www.nfp.org.
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