Red Ribbon Campaign

Purpose and Goals Clinical Focus Program Evaluation/Outcomes Target Population EBPs
  • The national Red Ribbon campaign raises public awareness and mobilizes communities to combat tobacco, alcohol and drug use among military personnel, civilians and their families.
  • Prevention
  • N/A
  • Active Duty
  • Dependents
  • N/A*

NOTE: EBP = evidence-based practice; N/A = not applicable.

*Note that the entry on the Red Ribbon campaign in the DoD section of Appendix C of the Comprehensive Plan lists “N/A” in the “EBP” column, while the entry in the Air Force section suggests that the campaign does, in fact, employ EBPs, including “community-based processes, environmental strategies, information dissemination, alternative activities, education and problem recognition and referral.”

Red Ribbon Week is an annual campaign that is conducted nationwide in the United States every October both at the community level and on military bases. Consequently, it has the capacity to reach service members and their families at all stages of military involvement except deployment outside of the United States. Within DoD, the targets are active duty service members (ADSMs) and their families, as well as the community at large. The focus is on raising awareness about SUD prevention and risk factors (DEA, 2012). The program’s website indicates that “Red Ribbon Week educates individuals, families, and communities on the destructive effects of alcohol and drugs and encourages the adoption of healthy lifestyle choices.” The program is a universal prevention campaign aimed at addressing peer pressure and prosocial bonding in youth, as well as parent monitoring. Thus, it is most developmentally appropriate for young military members with families. The primary setting for delivery is the community, although as noted, the campaign can be implemented on base. The committee finds there is no evidence on this program’s effectiveness, and both military bases and communities vary widely in the activities they sponsor under the auspices of the campaign. There is presently no published information on Red Ribbon’s theoretical basis or on its outcomes.

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