Delaware County Council joined members of the county’s Office of Behavioral Health/Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program and students and staff from Park Lane Elementary School during the public council meeting on Oct. 23 to recognize National Red Ribbon Week. The week, observed from Oct. 23-31 is designated to raise awareness about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. This year’s theme is “Send a Message. Stay Drug Free."
Red Ribbon Week was started in the late 1980s after a federal drug agent, Kiki Camarena was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by drug traffickers. His family and friends launched a campaign where people wore red ribbons and signed a pledge to lead “drug-free” lives. The message is that drug addiction affects all of us, from people who face addiction, to their families, their employers and law enforcement.
“We all know, too well how devastating drug and alcohol addiction can be and the impact it’s having on our community and the entire nation,” said Vice Chair Colleen Morrone. “Drug and alcohol abuse is a serious public health threat to our children, our families, and our entire community. Raising awareness is key, and it is critical to educate our youth about drug and alcohol abuse and to convey the message that any use of illegal drugs or misuse of legal drugs is destructive and ruins lives.”
Members of the County’s Department of Human Services/Office of Behavioral Health, work each day to prevent addiction. They offer an array of mental health, alcohol, and drug treatment services to residents and their families. Delaware County Council and the District Attorney formed the Heroin Task Force in 2012 to address the opioid epidemic through prevention, education, awareness, and recovery. Together they strive towards the common goal of alcohol and drug abuse prevention and recovery.
Council commended the staff and students from Park Lane Elementary School for their participation in Red Ribbon Week. Led by school counselor Marnie Jackson, students have planned a series of activities and events aimed at drug awareness and prevention including a Red Ribbon Rally to spread their message and encourage all students to sign a pledge to live drug-free.
Residents can learn more about Red Ribbon Week including ways to get involved and sign the pledge to be drug-free here: www.redribbon.org