Ounce of prevention

Colorful stamp depicting star

The Postal Service will release a Drug Free USA stamp in October 2020 to focus attention on the nation’s drug abuse crisis.

USPS announced the stamp Oct. 31 in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug abuse prevention campaign. The planned release next year will coincide with National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, observed annually in October.

“This Drug Free USA Forever stamp will help further raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, and the toll it is taking on families and communities around our country,” said Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors.

“The Postal Service is glad to do its part in marking Red Ribbon Week, and renewing our commitment to helping these efforts to educate youth about the dangers of illegal drugs.”

In 1988, the National Family Partnership coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons. The week runs Oct. 23-31 and coincides with National Substance Abuse Prevention Month each year.

Red Ribbon Week was started after the death of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent who was tortured and murdered in 1985 by drug traffickers that he was investigating in Mexico. After Camarena’s death, people began wearing red ribbons to honor him.

“I am very pleased that the U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp affirming our commitment to a drug-free America,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This stamp will help raise awareness of the fight against drug addiction and honor those who have dedicated their lives to that cause.”

Drug Free USA will be issued as a Forever stamp and will feature a white star with lines of red, light blue and blue radiating from one side of each of the star’s five points, suggesting the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug abuse.

Greg Breeding designed with stamp with original artwork by Aaron Draplin. USPS Acting Stamp Services Director William J. Gicker was the art director.

More details will be announced later.