Thursday, October 12, 2017
Charles Smith, Executive Commissioner
Kelli Weldon, 512-424-6951

Rally at State Capitol Kicks Off National Red Ribbon Week

AUSTIN – More than 1,000 Texas fifth and sixth graders participated in the Red Ribbon Rally kickoff event at the State Capitol this afternoon. The rally is the statewide kickoff to Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the United States, reaching millions of students nationwide.

Supported by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the event is an opportunity to educate students and the public through activities, prevention messages and commitments to live drug free. The rally focused on Texas prevention priorities, which include prevention of vaping, prescription drug use, and alcohol use.

This year, Red Ribbon Week will be observed in schools and communities across Texas from Oct. 23-31. The event utilized the 2017 National Red Ribbon Week theme, “Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug Free,” and aimed to motivate students to pledge their commitment to a drug-free life.

Today’s rally, sponsored by Texas Rep. J.D. Sheffield, featured interactive activities and reinforced key prevention messages, highlighting strategies to say no to drugs and make healthy choices. Students wrote letters to local representatives about why they think it’s important to live a drug-free life, participated in ColdTowne Theater improv sessions, and signed pledges committing to stay drug-free.

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The Red Ribbon campaign was created in memory of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena, who was murdered by drug traffickers in Mexico in 1985.