Drug Free Looks Like Me: Red Ribbon Week 2021

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week, which is from October 23 to 31 this year, is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention and awareness campaign. It has always been important to celebrate drug-free behavior, encourage dialogue, educate our youth, and support others; with observed increases in substance use and overdoses since the beginning of the pandemic, however, it is all the more important that we recognize the efforts of Red Ribbon Week 2021.

Now, the Red Ribbon remains a prevailing symbol of pledging to stay drug free and honor the lives lost.

The Red Ribbon Campaign is currently supporting various outreach and community-based events, including donations, forums, and contests. As part of their planned programming, Red Ribbon Fridays are where students, parents, teachers, and the community at large are invited to engage, share stories, and participate in prevention-based activities.

Highlighting National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 23

October 23rd has also been designated as one of two National Prescription Drug Take Back Days by the DEA. This day commemorates a nationwide attempt to safely and responsibly dispose of expired (or unused) prescription medications at designated locations. October 23rd will mark the 21st Take Back day in history, with the other having occurred in April of this year.

Based on the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people in the United States misused prescription pain relievers. The survey demonstrated a trend of obtaining prescription drugs from family members or friends, usually from medicine cabinets found within the home.

This year, on April 24th, 2021, 839,543 lbs or 420 tons of medication were collected. So, as of April, the DEA has collected a total of 14,524,391 pounds​ of prescription drugs since 2010.

You can use this collection site locator to find a site near you.

Join Our Efforts This Year

Join Kipu and our colleagues in commemorating the nationwide efforts of Red Ribbon Week. The time is now to not only encourage open dialogue about drug use and how to be preventative, but to also encourage safe and responsible behaviors. Take a pledge to be drug-free, share it with your friends and family, donate to the Red Ribbon campaign, where every $1 yields $7 saved in drug-addiction treatment, and share this toolkit with your community.