Army Reserve ASAPs hold first-ever Red Ribbon Expo

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Army Substance Abuse Programs from U.S. Army Reserve units around Fort Knox held a Red Ribbon Exposition
at the Saber & Quill Oct. 25.


The expo was part of the National Red Ribbon Week Campaign, held
annually the last week of October and recognized as the oldest and largest drug
prevention campaign in the nation.

Substance abuse programs from 84th Training Command, 100th Training Division, Army Reserve Aviation Command, Army Reserve Careers Division and U.S. Army Cadet Command collaborated on the expo, which was open to the public and featured interactive exhibits and activities.

“We wanted to reach across borders within the Army to really expand and touch a larger audience to accomplish education and awareness,” said Stephanie Elliott, 84th Training Command Alcohol and Drug Coordinator. “Because of growing trends of drug use in our civilian population, we’re seeing more effects on our military, and that impacts readiness and the mission.”

Exhibits and activities included awareness information, interactive demonstrations, a driving simulator, sobriety tests, beer and marijuana goggle activities, referral resources, prizes, and a special presentation on current drug trends in adolescents titled “The United States of Numb” by Angela Camp, National Coordinator of Adolescent and Emerging Adult Marketing at Bradford Health Services in Alabama.

“This epidemic we see with drug use and abuse has crossed the boundaries into our Families, civilian and contracting populations, so we’re really trying to tear down any walls to the misconception that this is just a Soldier issue,” said Elliott.

First Sgt. Carla Grice, 83rd U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Training Center, said being aware of the effects of drug use and resources to combat it help Soldiers look out for one another.

“Once someone takes drug
use to the level that it’s affecting their job and family, it’s harder to get them back on track. If you catch it early, you can start some intervention,” she said. “It’s important to help the individual because it doesn’t just affect them, it
also affects their family and friends.”

Elliott added that they plan to make the Red Ribbon Expo an annual event and said she hopes everyone who participates will take away an important message.

“No one is above or below
being touched by this,” she said. “Everyone is just within one or
two people from being touched by substance abuse, and prevention
is possible.”