Comments Off on Guest Blog: The True Meaning Of This Year’s Red Ribbon Week Theme: YOLO. Be Drug Free.®
By Guest Blogger: Brian Green, Prevention Educator Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio
For decades, phrases such as “one lives but once in the world,” and “carpe diem,” or “seize the day,” have encouraged people that life should be enjoyed because they will never again have a chance. Today, we have “YOLO,” or “you only live once.” Though not a new concept, the phrase has grown in popularity in recent years, particularly because of its association with music and popular culture.
For some individuals, “YOLO” has become an excuse to believe that “because we only live once, we should pursue a high-risk lifestyle of drinking and drug use.” However, these individuals are part of a minority of youth who think this way.
In American popular culture, drinking and drug use are often portrayed as a norm, where in reality they are not. Similarly, it might seem as if “YOLO” is entirely about these negative choices, but from speaking with many youths in the community, it is actually just the opposite. This was made very clear to me this recently in Columbus, Ohio at the “We Are Majority Rally, where it was obvious that a large majority of youth believe in a drug-free future.
Statistically, most youths do not use drugs and alcohol, and when they hear “YOLO,” that is the exact reason why. They know that they only have one chance at life and rather than wasting it on drugs and alcohol, they embrace healthy activities. These students take good care of their bodies and minds and refrain from engaging in unhealthy behaviors that could cause long-term damage.
Therefore, as Red Ribbon Week organizers and volunteers, we need to continue to reinforce the positive message behind “YOLO. Be Drug Free®”and inform anyone who mistakenly confuses YOLO to mean anything other than living your best life, taking care of your body and mind and being drug free.
We are delighted to announce the 2016 National Red Ribbon Week Theme: “YOLO. Be Drug Free.™”
The theme was created by Kristopher Jeremiah Oakes and Logan Brehm, sixth graders at Claysburg-Kimmel Elementary School in Claysburg, Pennsylvania. Danielle Simpson, school counselor at Claysburg-Kimmel, encouraged all sixth graders at the school to submit their ideas for the Red Ribbon Week theme contest. The school will receive national recognition and $500 in Red Ribbon Theme merchandise from Nimco, Inc.
Today, the school is recognizing the students for their outstanding achievement. Stay tuned for pictures from the event and more info about the theme!
It’s Red Ribbon Week® (October 23-31)! Thirty years ago, DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Mexico. Kiki’s death was the catalyst that led to the creation of the Red Ribbon Campaign, now the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the US. We know Kiki would be proud of the millions of people participating in drug free celebrations in his honor in schools and communities across the country and beyond. This year’s theme, “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.™”, created by a middle school student in Ohio, sends a powerful, positive message to our children – and we invite you to join us in spreading that message.
Enter The 5th Annual Red Ribbon Photo Contest
We are giving out $20,000 to schools across America. We invite you to enter the contest. Watch our video one-minute video and share it!