2013-10-18 / Community Events

Red Ribbon Week displays to provide drug-free information

By Michael Reed
ASAP Prevention Coordinator

This year the National Family Partnership theme for Red Ribbon Week is: “A healthy me is drug free” and the Department of Defense has adopted the theme.

The first Red Ribbon celebration was organized in 1986 by a grassroots organization of parents concerned about the destruction caused by alcohol and drug abuse. The Red Ribbon was adopted as a symbol of the movement in honor of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, an agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration who was kidnapped and killed while investigating drug traffickers. The campaign has reached millions of children and has been recognized by the U.S. Congress.

Red Ribbon Week is a way for the community to take a visible stand against drugs and to show their personal commitment to a drug-free lifestyle through the symbol of the red ribbon. It is known that illegal drugs do a great deal of harm to individual’s bodies, minds, and communities. People also know about the negative impact drugs can have on children and families. People must recognize that drugs are a serious issue in this country and must educate children about the dangers of substance abuse. Research shows that children are less likely to use alcohol and other drugs when parents and other role models are clear and consistent in their opposition to substance use and abuse.

According to the 2012 National institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring The Futures survey “five-year trends are showing significant increases in past month (current) marijuana use among 10th and 12th graders and an increase in daily marijuana use across all three grades. From 2007 to 2012, past month use increased from 14.2 percent to 17.0 percent among 10th graders and from 18.8 percent to 22.9 percent among 12th graders. Among high school seniors it was at its highest point since the late 1990’s. These increases continue to parallel softening attitudes for the last several years about the perceived risk of harm associated with marijuana use.”

Additionally, 2012’s survey also captured the use of synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or “Spice”, among 8th and 10th graders for the first time. Past year use was reported by 4.4 percent of 8th graders and by 8.8 percent of 10th graders. About 1 in 9, or 11.3 percent of high school seniors reported use of synthetic marijuana– unchanged from 2011. Also new in the survey this year was the past year use of bath salts reported by 0.8 percent of 8th graders, 0.6 percent of 10th graders, and 1.3 percent of 12th graders. More information can be obtained by visiting www.drugabuse. gov/related-topics/trendsstatistics/ monitoring-future/ monitoring-future-surveyoverview findings-2012.

Displays will be set up at on-post locations during the campaign to offer information on how drugs can be safely disposed of at home, knowledge on the signs and symptoms of drugs of abuse and information on the Fort Gordon Employee Assistance Program as well. Take a few minutes out of the day to visit one of the displays.

Red Ribbon Week is an opportunity to be visible and vocal for a drug-free community. Please join us in honoring Camarena’s memory and show your support by wearing the red ribbon badges. To reach Michael Reed, Fort Gordon Army Substance Abuse Program prevention coordinator/ Employee Assistance Program coordinator, call 791-5797.

Celebrations and opportunities to gather information related to drug abuse prevention/ awareness during Red Ribbon Week will be at the following sites:

• Oct. 28, 10 a.m. - noon, 2nd floor, DDEAMC
• Oct. 29, 10 a.m. - noon, Main Post Exchange
• Oct. 29, 5 - 7 p.m. Freedom Park School
• Oct. 30, 10 a.m. - noon, Commissary entrance
• Oct. 31, 10 a.m. - noon, Darling Hall lobby

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