To protect youth from the disastrous effects of drugs, the Drug-Free South team is bringing the truth directly to students and the community in honor of Red Ribbon Week.
“Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country,” according to imdrugfree.com, and it occurs during the last week of October each year. This is the best time to educate young people and help prevent drug abuse.
The Red Ribbon Campaign was started to commemorate DEA agent Kiki Camarena, who died in the line of duty in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying red ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a Drug-Free America, according to redribbon.org.
Drug-Free South has participated in the campaign since 2009 by distributing copies of The Truth About Drugs booklets, which help young people understand what drugs are and how they affect the user, visiting school classrooms to deliver a seminar to students utilizing the documentary The Truth About Drugs: Real People, Real Stories, and getting the Drug-Free World public service announcements played on television.
This year Drug-Free South volunteers plan to commemorate Red Ribbon Week through community events. “We will participate in various community events to distribute copies of the booklet, and we are hosting an open house event to shed light on the subject,” says Brian Fesler, regional coordinator for the Drug-Free South.
Drug-Free South has provided seminars to students in over thirty counties in Tennessee. One school teacher expressed his gratitude by writing a letter to the volunteers. He noted the program “is a highly informative, mind-grasping look at the dangers and horrible realities that addiction creates.”
Drug-Free South is the Tennessee chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, an international non-profit organization. Its materials demonstrate the dangers of drugs through factual information and interviews with former addicts giving personal perspectives on each of the substances covered. For more information, visit drugfreesouth.org.