“The Red Ribbon Campaign is a celebration of drug-free life,” says Travis Fretwell, director of DBHDD’s Office of Behavioral Health Prevention (pictured above left with Silentó, Miss Georgia Adeline Kenerly, and DJ Grand)
Preventing alcohol and other drug abuse is central to the mission of DBHDD’s Office of Behavioral Health Prevention (OBHP). The Red Ribbon Campaign Kickoff in October, attended by 1500 people in 2015, raises awareness about the dangers of drugs and alcohol in a way that engages youth. The theme for this year is Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.
Reaching people early in life is key, says Fretwell. “The impact that substance abuse has on families and communities is devastating. But the good news is that the longer we can keep a young person drug-free, the brighter their future.”
Atlanta-based rapper Silentó, who rose to national fame in 2015, lent his star power to the event. “We were proud to have Silentó involved,” says Fretwell. “He has a tremendous fan base among youth and he was extremely gracious, posing for photos with all the young people. He gave them a very special experience.”
“It’s important that young people are encouraged to remain drug-free year round,” says Fretwell. “We continue to offer that message throughout the year.”
Founded in honor of slain Federal Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, the Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. Georgia has been involved in the campaign since 1987.