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Ruth Harris started the “Hugs Not Drugs” project in 1982 and 1983 by first writing a publishing the “Hugs Not Drugs” workbook that she intended to use, as a teacher, in her classroom. Ruth began distributing her workbooks for free in various locations to various families. Ruth decided to quit teaching in 1985 so that she could spread the “Hugs Not Drugs” project across the nation. The program continued to grow and expand throughout the 1980s and was ultimately sponsored, financially and through distribution, by Nancy Reagan in 1991. The program continues to be supported by families and celebrities alike. The mission of the program is to continue to help addicted families that are need of help. The program assists families through counseling, rehabilitation centers and education. The program raises funds through consignment of donated items and by selling “Hugs Not Drugs” merchandise. The program helps families with their rehabilitation centers and through educating the community.