Clinton Herald Letter to the Editor-01

Area Substance Abuse Council celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week focuses on preventing drug use in school-aged children. This year, the theme for the week of Oct. 23-31 is “Drug Free Looks Like Me”.

The goal of the week is to create opportunities for behavioral changes that help children and communities remain drug free, as well as emphasize that treatment is available to those in need. Schools can engage in Red Ribbon Week by participating in activities to educate students on drug prevention and the benefits of remaining drug free. Businesses, government officials, and medical providers can also participate by wearing a red ribbon and displaying drug free information or Red Ribbon Week flyers.

The Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the United States. Following the death of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena in 1985, wearing a red ribbon has been a symbol of solidarity with those working to prevent youth drug use and those working to create drug-free communities.

The first Red Ribbon Week Celebration occurred in 1988 and was sponsored by the National Family Partnership, a group of concerned parents with the goal of playing a larger role in youth drug prevention. You, too, can support this annual National Red Ribbon Week Celebration!

ASAC will support students at Clinton Middle and High schools in Clinton by offering activities that take a stand against tobacco use. Students also have the opportunity to learn about how to be drug free. Students can gain leadership skills by working with the Iowa Students for Tobacco Education and Prevention chapter at school.

In past years, the local ISTEP chapters have chalked the sidewalks with the Red Ribbon Week theme and prevention messages and handed out red ribbons to peers. Other youth activities have included cupping the fence with drug prevention messages and listening to the history of Red Ribbon Week from prevention specialists at the Area Substance Abuse Council.

More information and resources about Red Ribbon Week can be found at www.redribbon.org. More information about ISTEP and local chapters can be found at www.istep.org.

Help our community be safe from tobacco and drugs – particularly with our youths. If you would like materials to display for the celebration or would like to be involved, contact prevention@asac.us or call (319) 390-4611.

Chelsea Herber, Resource Development Manager, Area Substance Abuse Council

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