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Red Ribbon Week OCTOBER 23-31

20 Ways to Promote Red Ribbon Week in Your Communities and Schools

There are lots of ways to celebrate Red Ribbon Week and every part of your community can get involved. Here are some ideas.

Communities Can:

  1. Contact your elected officials about issuing a proclamation declaring Red Ribbon Week in your community.
  2. Invite elected and government officials to participate in Red Ribbon Week activities.
  3. Display a basket of red ribbons in the reception area of your organization for visitors to take, along with copies of the Red Ribbon Week fact card.
  4. Display red ribbons on the interior and exterior surfaces of your organization’s building.
  5. Sponsor a special drug abuse prevention seminar for the community. Invite a speaker who is an expert on drug prevention and invite the community to attend.
  6. Submit a public service announcement about Red Ribbon Week activities to your local radio station.
  7. Sponsor an in-service educational program for your employees and community leaders.
  8. Organize a drug prevention awareness fair. Invite local nonprofit organizations to participate by staffing exhibit booths, disseminating educational materials, offering free health screenings, and much more.
  9. Set up and staff an exhibit table at a local hospital, doctor’s office, community center, or shopping center to promote Red Ribbon Week and to distribute drug prevention information and materials.
  10. Post fact sheets and Red Ribbon Week event notices and other materials on community webpages, and on bulletin boards in libraries, hospitals, local churches, synagogues, gymnasiums, grocery stores, parks and recreation departments, health clinics, universities, and other public places.

Schools Can:

  1. Wear red ribbons and distribute them to your friends, family, volunteers, staff, and employees.
  2. Sponsor a Red Ribbon Week activity (e.g., fun run; bike-a-thon; bookmark, poster, or essay contest; classroom door decorating contest).
  3. Incorporate drug prevention facts and tips in your school-wide announcements and websites throughout Red Ribbon Week. Create a bulletin board display about Red Ribbon Week and post it in a high traffic area of your school.
  4. Have a Red Ribbon Rally with performances by local talent or school groups.
  5. Have a school assembly (everyone can wear red) and invite a law enforcement officer to speak about the dangers of drug abuse.
  6. Do a drug prevention and refusal skills presentation for your classmates.
  7. Promote Red Ribbon Week at your school’s sporting events by handing out red ribbons, providing information about Red Ribbon Week, and having parents and students take a drug-free pledge.
  8. Sponsor an in-service training on drug prevention education for school administrators, teachers, counselors, nurses, and other staff.
  9. Start a Red Ribbon Week Club that meets regularly to promote drug prevention throughout the year.
  10. Sponsor a health fair and invite health and safety workers from the community to provide educational materials to students and parents.


What is the DEA Red Ribbon Patch Program?

The DEA Red Ribbon Patch Program is designed to provide Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts the opportunity to earn a patch from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) by performing anti-drug activities to commemorate Red Ribbon Week. The purpose of the Patch Program is to empower young people to engage in a drug-free activity and strengthen their anti-drug beliefs. This initiative seeks to empower young people to create, embrace, and strengthen their drug free beliefs.

What are the Red Ribbon Patch Program Dates?

All activities should be completed between July 1 – November 30.

Who can participate in the program?

All Boy and Girl Scouts are eligible to participate. 1 patch per scout, per program year.

How to Earn the Red Ribbon Patch:

  1. Each scouting unit or troop must coordinate a Red Ribbon Week activity in the community or school.
  2. Each scout must attend a drug use prevention education session.
  3.  Each scout must take the DEA Drug-Free Pledge.
  4. The scout leader must submit the online ‘Activity Report’ to DEA’s website for parents, caregivers, and educators.

For more information about the program or to obtain the Scout Leader Toolkit, please visit You may also contact the Community Outreach & Prevention Support Section at 202-307-7936 or e-mail at

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Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Community Outreach & Prevention Support Resources

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Community Outreach & Prevention Support Resources

These publications are some of DEA’s most popular resources that offer information on the effects of illegal drugs and misuse of prescription drugs. The publications are available for download, print, and to share with your family and community.

DEA Community Outreach & Prevention Support Section

DEA’s primary mission and responsibility as a law enforcement agency is to enforce the Nation’s federal drug laws.

DEA recognizes that not only reducing the quantity (supply) of drugs is essential to a safe and drug free country, but also reducing the desire (demand) for illicit drugs is a vital component to effectively reduce drug use in our Nation. For that reason, DEA created the Community Outreach Section as a critical complement to our primary law enforcement mission and included drug use prevention as one of the seven priorities in DEA’s vision:

“Support initiatives to reduce the demand for drugs and give assistance to community coalitions and drug prevention initiatives.”

DEA’s Community Outreach Section provides the public with current and relevant drug information about illicit drug use, the misuse of prescription drugs, drug use trends, and the health consequences of drug use.

The Community Outreach Section also develops drug information brochures, drug fact sheets, pamphlets, and parent/teacher drug education guides to assist the community in identifying drug use and finding help.

Another major component of the Community Outreach Section is collaboration with various drug use prevention partners. These partners include other federal agencies, national and regional prevention organizations, law enforcement organizations, community coalitions, fraternal and civic organizations, youth-serving organizations, state and local governments, and school districts. DEA supports our partners, who present significant opportunities for involvement in prevention efforts by providing drug trend information at local community events as well as at national conferences and professional educational forums.

DEA’s Community Outreach Strategy

DEA’s Community Outreach strategy is to develop and disseminate effective drug information for youth, parents, caregivers, and educators, and to increase the public’s awareness about the dangers associated with using drugs. There are three major concepts of drug use prevention research at the core of this strategy:

  • Parents and teens alike need to know that the brain continues to develop to age 25. In particular, the frontal cortex, which carries out mental processes such as thinking, decision making, and judgment, is not fully developed until that age; therefore, it’s vitally important that youth and young adults refrain from drug use as this use will affect brain development.
  • When youth and young adults perceive that drug use is harmful and risky, drug use dramatically declines.
  • The longer youth and young adults delay drug use, addiction and/or substance use disorders are significantly reduced.

DEA provides essential information about the harmful effects of illicit drug use through our educational materials and three websites, for teens, for parents, educators, and caregivers, and for those working with college students. We have also partnered with Discovery education to produce a science-based drug prevention curriculum which can be found at

Just Think Twice

DEA’s website for teens, provides credible information about the harmful effects of drug use. The site includes information about various drugs, including facts and fiction about drugs, the consequences of drug use, as well as topics about addiction, impaired driving, and true stories about teens that have had drug problems.
The site provides descriptions of specific drugs, such as marijuana, Spice/K2, bath salts, and heroin, as well as the drugs’ street names, effect on the mind and body, overdose effects, legal status, and origin.

Get Smart About Drugs

DEA’s website for parents, provides valuable drug education information for parents, educators, and caregivers to further help identify drug use, drug paraphernalia, warning signs of drug use, and the harmful side effects of the most commonly abused drugs.

Get Smart About Drugs

DEA’s website for parents, provides valuable drug education information for parents, educators, and caregivers to further help identify drug use, drug paraphernalia, warning signs of drug use, and the harmful side effects of the most commonly abused drugs.

Operation Prevention

Operation Prevention is an initiative brought to you by the DEA and Discovery Education to educate elementary, middle, and high school students about the true impacts of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use.

Operation Prevention provides science-based lesson plans to educate students about the impacts of opioid misuse. The program is free of charge and the elements are available for download at

Comprehensive Multimedia Platform for Mental Health Education