Red Ribbon Week teaches students about drug and alcohol prevention

Terri Honani is interviewed by Janna Koinva about Red Ribbon Week (Stan Bindell/NHO)

Terri Honani is interviewed by Janna Koinva about Red Ribbon Week (Stan Bindell/NHO)

POLACCA, Ariz. — Red Ribbon Week takes place Oct. 23-31 at Hopi High School, other locations on the Hopi Reservation and throughout the U.S.

The Red Ribbon campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, teaching millions of young people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Terri Honani, who works in the federal programs office at Hopi Jr/Sr High School, spoke about Red Ribbon Week recently on KUYI Hopi radio.

Red Ribbon Week is a nationwide anti drug campaign that involves schools, businesses, governments, law enforcement, faith-based locations, medical offices, media and anyone who wants to promote drug-free and healthy lifestyles.

Honani said Red Ribbon Week is important because it raises awareness about the dangers of drug abuse.

“It’s designed to get people talking with other people and working on activities that will help build a sense of community and common purpose,” she said.

Honani has been involved with Red Ribbon Week in the past as part of HAASA, which stands for Hopis Against Alcohol and Substance Abuse. They held a run from Jeddito to Moenkopi previously.

The Red Ribbon campaign started in 1985 after drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered DEA Agent Kiki Camarena. This began the tradition of displaying red ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a drug free America.

“We want everyone to be super heroes, not zeroes,” Honani said.

She said faculty at schools can engage in conversations with their students about the problems caused by drugs and alcohol. She said Red Ribbon Week should involve everybody. She said there are age appropriate activities for students of all ages. She said all of the Red Ribbon Week activities are free.

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