Red Ribbon Week, held annually during the last week in October, is a nationwide effort to celebrate healthy, drug-free living and to motivate youth across the country to choose to live drug-free. The week serves as a great opportunity to create dialogue with youth, to mobilize your community, and to honor law enforcement officers who work every day to keep communities safe from drugs and the associated consequences.
Several recent studies, including the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, indicate perceptions among youth about dangers of substance use are down, while substance use is up. The NSDUH study also showed that prevalence of substance use was lower among those youth who reported having seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages in the past year from sources outside of school than among those who reported having no such exposure (7.4 percent versus 10.5 percent, respectively).
This finding highlights the importance of drug prevention programs such as those operated by Drug Free Communities coalitions and the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, as well as the importance of leveraging Red Ribbon Week to engage youth in drug prevention activities. Hundreds of organizations across the country use Red Ribbon Week to bring drug prevention messaging to their communities through events and activities.
The Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council (YLC) Members engaged youth, parents, and leaders in this community during this year's Red Ribbon Week and brought awareness to the dangers and consequences of drug use since it is more important than ever. Activities the youth were involved in included: Red Ribbon week announcements, peer teaching in the elementary school and posters in their school and community.
Take time to talk to your teen about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. For information on talking to your teens check out the website: www.theantidrug.com.
For more information on Red Ribbon Week you may contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org