311th ESC celebrates National Red Ribbon Week

311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
Story by 1st Lt. Fernando Ochoa

Date: 11.15.2013
Posted: 11.20.2013 20:29
News ID: 117113
311th ESC celebrates National Red Ribbon Week

LOS ANGELES - The 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command celebrated National Red Ribbon Week with a ceremony conducted by Charlotte Jennings, 311th ESC Alcohol and Drug Control officer, at the West Los Angeles Reserve Center Nov. 7.

Red Ribbon is a national event honoring Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent who was killed in 1985 by drug traffickers. Soon after, “Camarena Clubs” were launched in high schools in California and hundreds of students pledged to lead drug-free lives.

This year's Red Ribbon Week theme is "A Healthy Me is Drug Free."

As part of the Army's commitment and support to a nationwide Substance Abuse Campaign, the Department of the Army observed the National Red Ribbon Campaign with targeted audience being soldiers and DOD civilians.

The Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country and is intended to educate thousands of young students and military personnel throughout the country. Since 1988, it has reached millions of U.S. children.

Held as a luncheon, the drill hall was also filled with soldiers from the 420th Transportation Battalion and 389th Quartermaster Company. During the luncheon, a preventive education class on the date rape drug was conducted.

"This is a very important event," said Jennings. "It is important to educate and remind everyone about the dangers of drug abuse and make them aware of dangerous drugs known as 'date rape' drugs."

During the training, everyone was informed about drugs like Ketamine and Rohypnol, also known as "GHB," which have all been associated with date rapes. This drug can easily be added to beverages with little or no detection and can produce relaxation that causes users to exhibit unrestrained behavior and actions.

One highlight of the event was during a skit performed by the leadership where a soldier is tricked into drinking a beverage laced with a date rape drug. Although it was amusing, it had a serious message and was well-received.

Red Ribbon Week is celebrated annually with the hopes of not only informing service members but also an effort to protect children from the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.