MTDOJ and OPI Encourage State’s Youth to Stay Drug-Free

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen are kicking off Red Ribbon Week on October 23 by encouraging students across the state to demonstrate their commitment to living healthy, drug-free lifestyles.  This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is:  “Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug Free.”

Starting today, the Office of Public Instruction will make available video messages to classrooms across the state which Attorney General Fox recorded for elementary students as well as middle/high school students.  As part of his message to students, Attorney General Fox encourages them to sign the Red Ribbon Week Youth Pledge and be aware of the dangers of drug use and abuse.

“We know through our Aid Montana initiative how important prevention efforts are in the fight against substance abuse,” said Attorney General Tim Fox.  “Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.  I encourage all Montana parents to take some time during Red Ribbon Week to discuss the importance of drug and alcohol prevention with their children.”

“As a teacher, I know first-hand how important it is for parents and schools to partner in guiding healthy choices for Montana students,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “Our Montana communities have felt the pain of drug abuse and seen too many futures lost. On Red Ribbon Week, let’s make Montana proud and honor a healthy future for our students.”

The National Red Ribbon Campaign was sparked by the 1985 murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena by drug traffickers. Today, Red Ribbon Week is nationally recognized and celebrated, helping preserve Special Agent Camarena’s memory. The Red Ribbon Campaign also became a way for state, county, and local agencies as well as schools to get involved and reduce the demand for drugs through prevention and education programs.  By wearing a red ribbon during the last week in October, Montanans can demonstrate their opposition to drugs and remember all the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of America’s fight against drugs.

To learn more about substance abuse in Montana, visit:
•  The Montana Department of Justice’s Substance Use in Montana Report
•  The Montana Office of Public Instruction’s 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey