DEA Museum Celebrates Red Ribbon Week
with Narconon® and Daytop Drug Talks for Kids
NEW YORK CITY -- The celebration of "Red Ribbon Week," the last week of October, dedicated to drug prevention activities nationwide, started after Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique Camarena was murdered in Mexico in 1985 while trying to uncover a major drug cartel. It was felt that the most positive response to this terrible act would be pro-active--a nationwide intensive delivery of drug education during one week a year.
The DEA this year is proud to contribute its part, using its travelling exhibit, "DEA Museum and Visitors Center," housed at 1 Times Square until 31 January, 2005, to deliver daily drug education lectures to school youth who will tour the site from throughout New York State. The Museum will later travel to Chicago.
As a public contribution from the Narconon program, which has rehabilitation and prevention centers across the U.S. and worldwide, its drug prevention presenters are giving 45 minute talks to youth on how drugs affect the body and mind. "Narconon presented to more than 440,000 kids last year," said J.T. Daily, a speaker from Narconon Arrowhead, the network's largest residential rehab and international training center in Oklahoma. "We always survey the kids after our talks to find out what they really want to learn about drugs, what they find valuable, and what they don't." What Narconon learned they want, he continued, is the straight scoop, just the facts, no scare tactics or horror stories. "Kids want to be able to think for themselves," said Daily, "and that is the most effective drug education we can give them, enough real data about alcohol and other drugs that they get their curiosity quotient filled and don't need to go off experimenting to find out what the hoopla about drugs is all about. We are delighted to be of service working together with the DEA people here."
Daytop Village is also contributing to the effort. "We are providing adolescent speakers in treatment," said Stan Satlin, Daytop Director of Public Affairs. "They go to school, then have therapeutic work, and go home at night. These kids can share with their peers that, really, all drugs do is harm you."
Amy Bloustine, Exhibit Educator for the Museum, said Narconon was referred to her by the New York State Demand Reduction Officer as people with a good reputation for holding lively interactive talks with kids across the country, and Daytop has been in New York for decades. "We really wanted to have this live element," said Bloustine. "The Museum is impressive with its impactful exhibits, but for kids we couldn't do better than give them a chance to see what drugs are doing nationally, internationally, and to them, themselves." The Red Ribbon Campaign has become, she said, a symbol of support for the DEA's efforts to reduce demand for drugs through prevention and education programs. "By wearing a red ribbon during the last week in October, Americans demonstrate their ardent opposition to drugs. They pay homage not only to Special Agent Camarena, but to all men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of our nation's struggle against drug trafficking and abuse."
Drug education presentations at the Museum are scheduled daily through January, 2005.