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Red Ribbon Campaign teaches children about the dangers of drugs

  • Published
  • By Carrie Payne
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Drug Demand Reduction Program Manager

The Red Ribbon Campaign, now the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, was sparked when DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Mexico.

Thirty years have passed since Kiki’s tragic death, and the Red Ribbon Campaign has touched the lives of millions of people around the world.

Wearing the Red Ribbon is a symbol of the commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.

This year’s Red Ribbon Campaign gave parents an opportunity to start talking to or continue talking to their children about the dangers of underage drinking and using illegal drugs.

Many questions arise during these difficult conversations with children, but it’s important to share your position on drugs and alcohol with your child. Are we teaching them about the dangers of underage drinking and using drugs and not just instructing them not to do it?

Do we think if we have one conversation with our child, aka “the talk,” then we are home free? Setting boundaries and monitoring your child’s behavior from a young age is one of the most important skills a parent can develop.

Why wait until a child develops some sort of behavioral/drug problem to take action? The truth is, we live in an addicted society. If you’ve got a problem, there’s a drug or pill for that, but there are resources on base to discard unneeded medications. Stop and take an inventory of your home’s medicine drawer.

According to Dr. George Jones, Defense Health Agency Pharmacy Operations Division chief, Defense Department, health care beneficiaries can now safely and easily dispose of expired and unused medications by bringing them to a military treatment facility or, in some cases, by picking up a mailing envelope from the installation to send for destruction of the medications free of charge.

Reducing the need for drugs in our society starts with you. Let’s join forces as a community to bring up the conversation in our homes with our loved ones. It not only hurts the person who uses but the family too. Need help starting the conversation? Contact the Drug Demand Reduction Office on Scott AFB at 256-7489.