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Features

Red Ribbon Week celebrates a drug-free lifestyle

The Ben Gordon Center Prevention and Education team, in conjunction with the DeKalb County Partnership for a Substance Abuse Free Environment (DCP/SAFE), invites the community to take a visible stand against drugs by celebrating Red Ribbon Week from Wednesday through Oct. 31.

Red Ribbon Week raises awareness of drug use and the problems related to drugs, while encouraging parents, educators, business owners, and other community organizations to promote drug-free lifestyles.

This year’s celebration week will include a prescription take-back event from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at the new DeKalb Police Department, 700 W. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb. In collaboration with local schools, DCP/SAFE partners and the city of DeKalb, red ribbons will be placed throughout the city.

“Red Ribbon Week encourages our entire community to adopt healthy, drug-free lifestyles,” Capri Smith, program manager for prevention and education at the Ben Gordon Center, said in a news release. “The campaign brings together parents, schools and businesses as we look for innovative ways to keep kids and communities drug-free.”

The red ribbon symbolizes a commitment to reducing the demand for illicit drugs. In 1985, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique S. “Kiki” Camarena was killed by drug traffickers. Shortly after his death, people from his hometown of Calexico, Calif., began wearing red ribbons to remember him and commemorate his sacrifice. Congress established Red Ribbon Week in 1988.

“Research shows that children are less likely to use alcohol and other drugs when parents and other role models are clear and consistent in their opposition to substance use and abuse,” Matt Miller, prevention specialist for the Ben Gordon Center Prevention and Education team, said in the release.

For more information, visit www.bengordoncenter.org/prevention/ or contact Capri Smith at 815-756-8501, ext. 104.

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