Red ribbons and recovery

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

As part of a renewed emphasis on substance abuse education and prevention in the Iowa National Guard, the 185th Air Refueling Wing care team, held a special event this week as a precursor to Red Ribbon week.

Red Ribbon Week, is part of the National Family Partnership that was created in 1985 in response to the murder of drug enforcement agent Enrique Camarena, as a way to raise awareness of the lives destroyed by drug abuse.

During the event held this week at the Air National Guard base in Sioux City, Iowa, invited guest Tamara Bennett, prevention education specialist with Jackson Recovery in Sioux City, Iowa spoke to 185th ARW unit members about the cycle of addiction. Bennett also offered practical insights on prevention.

"The bottom line is to understand that substance abuse can affect anyone regardless of any socioeconomic circumstance," said Bennett.

According to Bennett, less than ten percent of people who need treatment for alcohol and drug abuse ever receive help.

During her presentation, Bennett talked about factors that contribute to substance abuse, such as stress at home and at work, social acceptance, and peer pressure.

Bennett also pointed to a loss of interest in hobbies or activities as warning signs that often accompany addiction.

Bennett said even though there is a point of no return in the addiction cycle, recovery is still possible through programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.

As part of the Airman Comprehensive Fitness program, the 185th also has people and programs in place which help members and their families to find help for a variety of issues including substance abuse.

Contact information for members of the 185th Care Team can be found on the Airman Comprehensive Fitness portion of the 185th website.

National observance of Red Ribbon week runs from the 23rd through the 31st of October.

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