Every year for one week of the school year, our kids participate in school events centered around the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse. If you have school-aged kids, you probably already know that this is called Red Ribbon Week. But what really is Red Ribbon Week? How did it start, and how can we get involved?
Red Ribbon Week, also known by its proper name, the National Red Ribbon Campaign is an annual event that was created by the National Family Partnership (NFP). NFP is a grassroots nonprofit organization comprised of parents who wanted to play an active leadership role in preventing drug and alcohol abuse in their communities. NFP created the National Red Ribbon Campaign after the 1985 murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena. In direct response to Camarena's death, parents and students began wearing red ribbons in his memory. in 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.
This year's Red Ribbon Celebration begins on Sunday, October 23rd and runs through Monday, October 31st. High schools, jr. highs, and even some elementary schools across the nation will be putting on events and holding assemblys for students to learn about the dangers of drugs and how to live a drug-free life. Every year, NFP has a theme for Red Ribbon Week, with this year's theme being "YOLO. BE DRUG FREE."
If you are a parent celebrating Red Ribbon Week, NFP offers some ideas of how to celebrate with your kids. First and foremost, NFP recommends using Red Ribbon Week to start a discussion with your kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and establish a clear boundary with them that drug and alcohol use will not be tolerated. According to NFP, teens are 42% less likely to use drugs when their parents talk to them about it regularly. However, only about 25% of teens report having these conversations with their parents.
Other ideas for parents during Red Ribbon Week include volunteering at school for Red Ribbon activities, entering the Red Ribbon Photo Contest, spread Red Ribbon Week awareness through your social media profiles, or you can sit down with your kids and come up with ideas for 2017 National Red Ribbon Theme.
Red Ribbon Week is about helping our youth understand the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. As people in recovery, we're practicing our 12th step when we take an active role in educating our community about the dangers of drugs and addiction. From our own perspective, we know the dangers that we faced and came through. For us, Red Ribbon Week is about helping future generations avoid the trials we went through in our own addictions.
If you are struggling with an addiction, Chateau Recovery L.A. can help. Call us today at (800) 379-4401 or fill out the contact form on this page and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.