WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service today issued the Drug-Free USA stamp during Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug abuse prevention awareness program, during a stamp dedication ceremony held at Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) headquarters in Arlington, VA.
This Forever stamp is being sold at Post Office locations nationwide and online at usps.com/drugfreestamp. News of the stamp is being shared on social media using the hashtag #DrugFreeStamp.
“It’s our hope that the Drug-Free USA stamp will help publicize the dangers of illicit drug use and to promote drug abuse prevention,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “Millions of Americans have had their lives hijacked by the impact of addiction. Families are destroyed, and communities are disrupted. We can measure the cost to society in the billions, but we cannot measure the grief and despair. To fully address this problem requires a unified effort at every level of the community, and with this stamp, the Postal Service is proud to join the Drug Enforcement Administration and many other federal, state, and local partners’ commitment to a Drug-Free USA.”
DeJoy was joined for the ceremony by Timothy Shea, Drug Enforcement Administration acting administrator; Gary Barksdale, U.S. Postal Service chief postal inspector; Peggy Sapp, National Family Partnership president; and Camille Schrier, Miss America 2020. The stamp event can be viewed on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
“With this powerful image and message, the U.S. Postal Service has given us another means to promote the battle against drug abuse,” said Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea. “In America alone, 70,000 lives are lost to drug overdoses every year, with countless others impacted by the actions of violent drug traffickers and the scourge of illegal drug use. We urge the public to engage in this fight against illegal drug use and to use the Drug Free USA stamp to signify their support for safer, drug-free communities.”
In 1988, the National Family Partnership coordinated the first Red Ribbon Week, with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons. The week runs Oct. 23-31 and coincides with National Substance Abuse Prevention Month every October.
Red Ribbon Week was started after the death of Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was tortured and murdered in 1985 by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico. After Camarena’s death, many people started wearing red ribbons to honor his sacrifice.
The Drug Free USA stamp art features a white star with lines of red, light blue and blue radiating from one side of each of the star’s five points, suggesting the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug abuse. Charlottesville, VA, designer Greg Breeding designed the stamp with original artwork by Portland, OR, graphic designer Aaron Draplin. USPS Stamp Services Director William Gicker was the art director.
The stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.