Leonardtown, MD –Abuse of alcohol and other drugs nationwide has reached epidemic proportions. It is imperative that visible, unified prevention education efforts by community members be launched to eliminate the demand for drugs. To kick off a campaign to offer citizens a chance to demonstrate their commitment to a drug-free lifestyle, the St. Mary’s County Health Department and Southern Maryland Young Marines joined the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County in a ceremony declaring the week of October 23 – 31 as Red Ribbon Week.

The 2018 National Red Ribbon theme is “Life Is Your Journey, Travel Drug Free™.”The National Family Partnership (NFP) is sponsoring the National Red Ribbon Campaign. The national campaign is celebrated in every community across the country. Businesses, government, parents, law enforcement, media, medical, religious institutions, schools, senior citizens, service organizations and youth will demonstrate their commitment to the cause by wearing and displaying Red Ribbons during the week long campaign.

To help achieve this goal, the Health Department, St. Mary’s County Public Schools, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership, the Community Alcohol Coalition and Southern Maryland Young Marines encourage county residents to participate in Red Ribbon Week.

The Red Ribbon Campaign was first established by Congress in 1988 to encourage a drug-free lifestyle and involvement in drug prevention and education efforts. Governments and community leaders know citizen support is one of the most effective tools in the effort to reduce the use of illicit drugs in our communities

“There is hope in winning the war on drugs and that hope lies in education and drug demand reduction, coupled with the hard work and determination of organizations, such as our local community partners and the Southern Maryland Young Marines, to foster a healthy, drug-free lifestyle,” said Commissioner John O’Connor (3rdDistrict).

In proclaiming Red Ribbon Week, the commissioners ask residents to participate in drug prevention education activities which make a visible statement signifying a strong commitment to a drug-free state now and throughout the year.

Images courtesy of the St. Mary’s County Public Information Offic0300