October 31st marked the conclusion of this year’s Red Ribbon Week, a nine-day event meant to spread awareness and education regarding the dangers of drug abuse and addiction. Red Ribbon Week was established by the National Family Partnership, an organization established in 1980 by parents affected by drug addiction in their families in an effort promote empowerment and action. Since their inception, they’ve become a national leader in prevention, education and advocacy on a mission to lead and support American families in nurturing the full potential of healthy and drug-free youth. This year marked the 31st anniversary of Red Ribbon Week, the organization’s flagship event.
Red Ribbon Week helps families and loved ones of those who are vulnerable to addiction recognize the signs, learn how to intervene in the event of a problem and how develop techniques to keep their loved ones away from drugs. This year’s theme was YOLO (You Only Live Once): Be Drug Free. Families and schools across America were invited and encouraged to participate in Red Ribbon Week in whatever capacity possible, whether it was through active curriculum ideas, integrating existing ideas in their schools or communities, or simply promoting the event on social media. This year marked the sixth annual photo contest, in which $20,000 will be dispensed among ten winning schools across America.
Events like Red Ribbon Week, as well as organizations like the National Family Partnership, are much-needed resources in an increasingly uphill battle against drug abuse and addiction. In a time which today’s youth are more vulnerable than ever to becoming tomorrow’s addicts, it’s critical that education, awareness and empowerment start as early as possible, and be offered in school and at home. There is no shortage of opportunities to get involved with NFP and Red Ribbon Week and do your part in curtailing substance abuse in your community.