Drug prevention expert to speak at Red Ribbon Week breakfast

By Duree Ross….
Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership and the National Family Partnership (NFP) are kicking off the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program, Red Ribbon Week, with a free Sept. 27 breakfast featuring speaker David K. Mineta.
Mineta is the Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Executive Office of the President.
The breakfast will take place at 8 a.m. at the Victor E. Clarke Education Center, South Miami Hospital, 6200 SW 73 St., South Miami. Reservations are required.
Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31, is sponsored by the National Family Partnership (NFP) and now in its 25th year. Informed Families is the Florida affiliate of the NFP and sponsor of the national Red Ribbon campaign, which presents a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a drug-free country.
The goal of the weeklong event is to educate students and the community about the negative consequences of drug use and how it affects individuals, families, and communities around them. The theme for 2010 Red Ribbon Week is “I Am Drug-Free.”
Mineta oversees the ONDCP Office of Demand Reduction, which focuses on promoting drug prevention and drug treatment programs, as well as the agency’s newly created focus on programs for individuals in recovery from addiction.
Since 1996, he worked with Asian American Recovery Services (AARS) throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining AARS, Mineta was a counselor with the San Jose (CA) Unified School District and later with the Santa Clara (CA) Alcohol and Drug Department. In May 2009, he was appointed to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention National Advisory Council. He is a member of the American Public Health Association and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
Mineta studied Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and earned his Master’s of Social Work from California State University, San Jose in 1990.
Event sponsors are Baptist Health South Florida, South Miami Hospital Addiction Treatment Center, National Family Partnership, Informed Families and the Florida Department of Children and Families. Community partners include the South Miami Drug-Free Coalition, Office of Parental Involvement/Parent Academy, and Public Defender’s Office. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is Informed Families’ Donor of the Year.
“Red Ribbon Week has made a major difference in the lives of millions of children and families in South Florida, throughout Florida and in the nation as a whole,” said Peggy Sapp, president and CEO of Informed Families and volunteer president of the National Family Partnership. “All sectors of the community must be united for prevention to be most effective and we look forward to heavy participation from our community.”
For more information about the Red Ribbon kickoff breakfast or to RSVP, call 305-856-4886 or send email to ireyes@nfp.org. For more information on Informed Families, visit the website at www.informedfamilies.org, or call 305- 856-4886.

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