NEWS | Oct. 20, 2011

Red Ribbon Week kicks off

By Airman 1st Class Tom Brading Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

"It's up to me to be drug free" is the theme for the 2011 Red Ribbon Week campaign, Oct. 23 to 31.

Red Ribbon Week is the nation's oldest and largest drug prevention program, reaching millions of Americans every year during the last week of October. The Department of Defense has officially participated in this event to raise public awareness and mobilize communities to combat tobacco, alcohol and drug use among military personnel, civilians and their families.

According to The National Family Partnership, "Red Ribbon Campaign is an opportunity to send a consistent 'Anti-Drug' message to young people."

Each year the DoD and the military services sponsor Red Ribbon Week activities to focus attention on the destructive effects drugs have on America.

Team Charleston will be participating in this year's campaign.

Selwyn Stephens, 628th Air Base Wing's Drug Demand Reduction Program manager, is scheduled to speak to children at Marrington Elementary, Lambs Elementary and Hunley Park Elementary about the dangers of drug use.
"It's important to encourage young people to make responsible choices," said Stephens. "The goal is to inspire the community to live a drug free life."

"The Drug Demand Reduction Program is designed to deter as well as prevent illegal drug use," said Stephens. "We have the added responsibility of conducting outreach and prevention activities and the Red Ribbon Campaign is one of the ways we do this."

The National Family Partnership encourages parents to play a significant role in their child's life and take their pledge to prevent children's substance abuse.
TRICARE Public Affairs contributed to this article.