Red Ribbon Week Ideas & Promotional Items to Support Substance Abuse Awareness for 2023
Red Ribbon Week 2023 and Other Ways to Support Substance Abuse Awareness
Schools, public safety, healthcare, and other nonprofit organizations all do their part to raise awareness about alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse and its prevention. October is Substance Abuse Awareness Month and one such effort is The Red Ribbon Campaign™, which promotes Red Ribbon Week® in the last week of each October every year. The 2023 dates are October 23-31st.
What is The Red Ribbon Campaign™
The Red Ribbon Campaign™ was launched in 1985 after the National Family Partnership gained knowledge of the serious drug trafficking problem in Mexico that was making its way to the United States. It began as a way to encourage families and educators to talk to their children about substance abuse prevention. Specifically, the anti-drug campaign encourages people to wear red double-looped ribbons in order to show that they have taken the pledge to educate children and youth about the dangers of drug abuse. While Red Ribbon Week® comes around just once a year, the need for substance abuse education is year-round. Red ribbon week promotional products are a great way to generate ideas and get the word out in schools, healthcare practices, and community service organizations.
The Red Ribbon™ Pledge
I pledge to grow up safe, healthy and drug free by:
- Understanding the dangers of drug use and abuse.
- Respecting myself and being drug free.
- Spreading the word to family and friends about the importance of being healthy and drug free.
Encourage students and other children to sign the Red Ribbon Pledge. Imprint the pledge, this year’s campaign slogan, and a place for a signature onto a bookmark or keychain giveaway to make it convenient and quick for them to do so. Red ribbon week merchandise also serves as a great reminder to stay drug-free and to come back to your business for other anti-drug resources. Check out these red ribbon week items and giveaways to promote the important event:
“Be Kind to Your Mind. Live Drug Free™”
Add this slogan to Red Ribbon Week items, such as awareness bracelets, red ribbon week shirts, stadium cups, pens, and pencils for swag that kids will likely hold on to. These goodies make incredible Red Ribbon Week giveaways that get kids ready to learn. Choose age-appropriate educational materials that reinforce the message. Hand out Drug & Alcohol Awareness Brochures to educators and parents in order to help get their kids talking about substance abuse, and your company, with their children. There are also fun enrichment materials available for kids, such as the Say No to Drugs Coloring Book and the customizable Drug-Free and Me Storybook, that will give them all the facts they need to say no to drugs. Here are a few of our favorite red ribbon week giveaways:
Red Ribbon Week Ideas & Activities
If you’re looking for some fun, inspiring and effective ideas and activities to celebrate Red Ribbon Week, you’ve come to the right place. Browse these Red Ribbon Week ideas and select your favorites to help raise awareness about the dangers of drug and substance abuse.
- Set Up a Prevention Obstacle Course. Using Fatal Vision Goggles and items such as balls, cones and hula hoops, you can mimic how your perception changes when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This can be an excellent way to demonstrate the dangers of substance abuse.
- Start or Support a MADD or SADD Chapter. Many communities have Mothers Against Drunk Driving or Students Against Drunk Driving Chapters. Red Ribbon Week is a great time to get involved or support one of these organizations.
- Celebrate Spirit Week. Another great Red Ribbon Week idea is to plan a spirit week at your school or organization with each day having its own theme or message. You may encourage wearing ribbons, host a lunch, or sponsor a motivational seminar during this week.
- Build a Promise Wall. Encourage individual students to make a personal pledge to stay drug free by decorating a large poster at a school or other area at a community center or healthcare facility.
- Hold an Essay Contest. For older students, encourage them to write about the importance of staying drug free or how to encourage friends to do so. Share the best essays to create a positive, ongoing culture at a school or youth organization.
- Start Young. Young students are impressionable so early explanations of the dangers of substance abuse can have lasting effects. Teach them the dangers of drugs by playing a game called, Pill or Candy? to illustrate how some dangerous drugs can look like candy. Reinforce the importance of talking with a trusted parent or adult if they have questions.
- Address Root Causes. For teens, drug and alcohol use are only a symptom of a larger family or societal problem. Launching a program that provides ongoing support for troubled teens, helps young people manage and cope with stress, or delivers tools to build healthy habits is another great Red Ribbon Week idea that can have a long-lasting impact.
By taking the opportunity to educate and inform through one or more of these Red Ribbon Week ideas, your school, business, or organization can make a long-term impact on your community.
Other Drug and Alcohol Awareness Events
Raising awareness about the risks associated with drugs, tobacco, and alcohol is a year-round effort. Here are some ideas for how your organization can promote awareness promotions and events:
- April is Alcohol Awareness month
- College campuses frequently put on awareness events such as festivals, rallies and walk/runs
- Many towns and schools put on Say No to Drugs and DARE to Keep Kids Off Drugs events throughout the year
All of these events present the opportunity to promote education and fun with red ribbon week promotional items such as buttons, color changing items, and stickers. Plus, it will show that your company makes the effort to help the community and believes in maintaining a drug-free environment for kids. It’s a win-win situation!