Fort McCoy News Oct. 14, 2016

2016 Red Ribbon Campaign: 'YOLO. Be Drug Free'

As leaves start to turn and cooler breezes dance in the air, people are reminded once again of the activities associated with autumn.

Along with other annual activities, the last week in October is set aside to honor, celebrate, and support the National Red Ribbon Campaign. The 2016 Red Ribbon week will be Oct. 23-31. The theme is "YOLO (You Only Live Once). Be Drug Free."

The National Red Ribbon Campaign encourages parents and youth in communities across the country to wear red satin ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs, a commitment to be a positive role model, and to never abuse drugs or alcohol.

Red Ribbon Week

The campaign serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. It was established in 1985 by the Nancy Reagan-sponsored National Family Partnership (NFP) and supported by the Family, friends, and colleagues of Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena, who was abducted February 1985 in Mexico by corrupt police officers working for a drug lord. Camarena was tortured and killed because of his involvement in the war on drugs and past success in helping destroy a large marijuana-processing plantation.

According to NFP, children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42 percent less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. Also, by wearing a red ribbon during the last week in October, Americans demonstrate their ardent opposition to drugs, NFP states.

The red ribbon pays homage not only to Camarena, but to all men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of America's struggle against drug trafficking and abuse.

Informational displays will be set up at the Exchange, McCoy's Community Center, Child Development Center, and School-Age Center/Youth Center.

For more information, contact the installation Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at 608-388-2441/5955, or stop by the ASAP office in building 1344. For more about National Red Ribbon Week, go online to www.nfp.org/rr/.

   (Article prepared by Fort McCoy Army Substance Abuse Program.)