Facts about Red Ribbon Week

When it comes to getting a drug education, you should be familiar with Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, drug, and violence prevention campaign that began in 1985 after the kidnapping, torture, and murder of DEA agent, Enrique "Kiki" Camarena. Red Ribbon Week is observed annually in October in the United States.

The History

While working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico for four years, Camarena's efforts led to a tip that resulted in the discovery of a multi-million dollar narcotics manufacturing operation in Chihuahua, Mexico. Found murdered on the side of the road, the investigation revealed that the DEA Camarena, had been tortured before he was killed. He was kept alive by medical doctors to continue with the investigation. The media coverage that surrounded Camarena's disappearance and death exposed the world of drug trafficking and revealed how far drug traffickers would go to maintain power and control.

The Start of the Red Ribbon

After Camarena's brutal murder, citizens in his hometown of Calexico, California began wearing red ribbons in his honor. The red ribbon was worn to symbolize his dedication in reducing the availability and trafficking of illegal drugs. In California, "Camarena Clubs" were launched in high schools who were also outraged by the savagery and drug related problems. In 1986, club members presented a proclamation to Nancy Reagan, who had already initiated nationwide anti-drug program. A year later, parent teacher organizations in California, Illinois, and Virginia wore red ribbons in late October and November to honor the DEA and remind people of the dangers of drug use. A high school friend of Enrique Camarena's, Henry Lozano, was also involved in getting the campaign started.

In 1988, the first National Red Ribbon Week was organized by the National Family Partnership. This event was proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by Nancy Reagan. During the administration of President Bill Clinton, the Red Ribbon Week campaign grew into a nation-wide service effort.

Say "No" to Drugs

It's clear that many people have lost their lives in order to fight the drug business in our country. To honor those who have lost their lives trying to protect his country, it is important to say "no" to drugs. If you feel as if you already suffer from a drug problem or could be developing one, then enroll in a drug education course today.