October: Substance Abuse and National Red Ribbon Week

Prescriptions Month

Facts on Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs There is misinformation about some of these drugs and their side effects on the body. Facts show that the majority of prescription and Over-the-Counter drugs if used incorrectly can have dangerous short- and long-term health consequences.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website, every day in the United States, an average of 2,000 teenagers use prescription drugs without a doctor’s guidance for the first time;
  • Statistics from the 2011 Monitoring the Future survey reveal, youth who are 12 to 17 years old, 7.4 percent reported past-year nonmedical use of prescription medications; Youth who abuse prescription medications are also more likely to report use of other drugs.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are among the most commonly abused drugs by 12th graders, after alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.
  • These are the most commonly abused prescription drugs: Painkillers- Opioids such as OxyContin or Percocet, central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as Valium or Xanax, and stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin
  • Despite , the majority of prescription drugs come in pill or capsule form
  • Abusing prescription drugs is illegal as well as sharing prescriptions with friends.
  • There is a risk for addiction because medications that affect the brain can change the way it functions, particularly if taken regularly or in large doses.

National Red Ribbon Week

Each year communities nationwide join together to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse by wearing a red ribbon from October 23rd to October 31st, which is the National Red Ribbon Week. Various activities have been scheduled throughout the month of October to celebrate the Red Ribbon Campaign. The campaign provides communities with a forum to bring together parents, schools and business to find new and innovative ways to keep kid’s drug free. The first Red Ribbon Celebration was organized in 1986 by a grassroots organization of parents concerned about the destruction caused by alcohol and drug abuse. The red ribbon was adopted as a symbol of the movement in honor of Enrique “KiKi” Camarena an agent with the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration who was kidnapped and killed while investigating drug traffickers. The campaign has reach millions of children and has been recognized by the U.S Congress.  


Oct 01 - 31 2021
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