PRIDE Bermuda today announces that their 16th Annual Red Ribbon Celebration will kick-off on October 23, 2013. Red Ribbon celebrates all Organisations, Service Agencies, Teachers, religious communities, parents and families who have played a part in preventing drug abuse with our youth. 

 

Red Ribbon brings a focus that each of us can play a positive part in the life of a child. 

“Our goal is to STOP drug abuse before it starts and to continue the message that preventing drug abuse builds a stronger healthier community”, says Judith Burgess, PRIDE Bermuda’s Executive Director. We know the devastating effects of Drugs and Alcohol on our community. The cost of treatment, which is necessary to help those individuals to get back on track to lead productive lives, far outweighs the cost of prevention. Like Grandma always said, “An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of Cure”. Treating the costly effects of drug abuse on our community can be significantly reduced by allocating more resources to effective prevention and intervention programmes. 

The evidence–based LifeSkills Training prevention Program, designed to increase self-esteem, make healthy decisions and develop drug resistance skills, have been confirmed to make a difference on our island: 

The 2011 National Student Survey showed a reduction in drug use amongst our students, aged 12-18. 

An increase in awareness and positive change in attitudes has shown among participants. 

 

These findings are consistent with U.S data that shows that effective prevention programs have a positive social and financial value: 

Students have been shown to delay initiation by up to 2 years. 

The 2008 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report indicates that for every $1 spent, $18 could be saved. When expanded, the fiscal impact involves a savings of $1.3 billion, within 2 years, a reduction of substance abuse–related social costs and lost productivity over a lifetime by an estimated $33.5 billion. 

 

We believe that by building Youth LifeSkills, we will increase their ability to avoid drug use. 

All are invited to join the celebration which will Kick-off with Lunch in Queen Elizabeth Park, on Wednesday, October 23 at 12:30 p.m. The first 100 persons wearing RED will be treated to a “Red Bag Lunch and additional giveaway items. The Governor, Premier, Mayor of Hamilton and other notable dignitaries will participate in the event while we are entertained by our students, alumni and friends. 

On Friday, October 25, we are asking the public to wear their Red Ribbons in support of our young people and drug prevention. Many of our businesses have purchased these ribbons for their staff; additional supplies are still available at the PRIDE Office. 

“We are urging parents and members of the Bermuda community to participate in drug awareness and to educate themselves and their children about the positive effects of drug prevention, while supporting the efforts of PRIDE Bermuda.” continues Mrs. Burgess. “Collectively, we can make a difference in the lives of Bermuda’s young people.” 

The Red Ribbon Campaign began in 1988 in honour of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena who was kidnapped and killed in Mexico in February of 1985. Mr. Camarena had uncovered a multi-billion dollar drug scam in which he suspected officers of the Mexican army, police forces and government of being involved. His tragic death led to an outpouring of sympathy around the world and led to a formalized campaign of hope in Mr. Camarena’s honour. 

For our 2013 PRIDE Red Ribbon Campaign, we wish to thank our Principal Partner, The Bank of Bermuda Foundation, Contributing partner, FIL Ltd. and Orbis Ltd. 

For more information about the Red Ribbon Campaign, or to get involved, call PRIDE Bermuda on 295-9970 or email info@pride.prevention.bm.