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Prevention Month &
Red Ribbon Week

Prioritize prevention this October

Prevention Month this year was like none other!

At such a volatile time — with 1 in 6 youth impacted by the nation’s mental health crisis, and with youth fatal overdose rates escalating faster than any other age group — schools and communities came together for collective action and to elevate prevention. This included wearing and sharing 15,000 red ribbons, as well as through social media messages spoken from the heart of brave young people who felt inspired to spread hope on topics like naloxone.

Keep the momentum going. Together, we can continue to support the power of prevention and stimulate health-enhancing choices.

What is National Substance Use Prevention Month?

The month of October signifies National Substance Use Prevention Month — a time for communities to come together as partners in prevention. This month is also a time to acknowledge those in recovery, as well as children, parents, family, and friends supporting them.

Each October, SAFE Project is proud to join more than 80 million Americans taking part in Prevention Month, as well as national Red Ribbon Week, which occurs each year from October 23-31. Together we can prioritize prevention and use this month as a springboard for action throughout the entire year.

What is Red Ribbon Week?

Red Ribbon Week — recognized each year from October 23-31 — is the nation’s largest and longest-running substance use prevention campaign. Since its beginning in 1985, it has touched the lives of millions of people around the world.

Our Red Ribbon Week slogan is “Choose Your Path. Make SAFE Choices.” This reinforces our SAFE Choices goal of ensuring young people have the information and tools necessary for making meaningful choices, and enable them to reach their full potential.

The simple wearing of a red ribbon is a visible act that shows your support for safe and healthy choices. With this collective action in mind, we are offering — at no cost — red ribbons to distribute to your networks.

Engagement Opportunities for Prevention Month

Together, we can create a culture where substance use prevention is recognized — not just in October, but year-round! — as a health priority.

  • Join the No Shame Movement: There is #NoShame in getting help or in talking about mental health and addiction. Join us in creating a nationwide movement to end stigma and support others in speaking up about their own disorders — sign the No Shame Pledge today!
  • Learn How to Save a Life: With the first shipments of NARCAN® Nasal Spray on their way to local pharmacies, now is the time to be prepared — take our free opioid response training and download your own printable safety plan to share with family and friends!
  • Elevate Young Voices: Our SAFE Choices line of programming is specifically geared to engage youth on these important topics. Learn more about our innovative presentations for your school community that foster genuine conversation around these important issues.
  • Support Your Community’s Strategic Response Efforts: Visit SAFE Solutions, our free platform with a collection of research, educational materials, and promising practices that can be tailored to each community.
  • Volunteer: Ready to take the next step? Sign up to volunteer with SAFE Project today!

Photo with children holding red ribbons
Photo with children holding red ribbons

2023 Red Ribbons

We have reached our allotment for ribbon distribution this year. Thank you to everyone that ordered — we look forward to receiving photos from your Red Ribbon Week activities!

Please consider making a donation to SAFE Project in support of our prevention and Red Ribbon distribution efforts.

Looking for ways to get even further involved in prevention all year long?

Take Action with the Prevention Toolkit

Thank you for your support of Red Ribbon Week and all that it represents. SAFE Project is proud to be your partner in prevention during Prevention Month and throughout the entire year!

Additional Resources