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Living Drug Free: Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23-31

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2016

RED RIBBON WEEK, which is celebrated annually October 23-31, is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program. 

Red Ribbon Week was started after the death of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who in 1985 was brutally tortured and murdered by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico.  As a tribute to SA Camarena, high school friend, Henry Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter, created “Camarena Clubs” and the wearing of a red ribbon to show their oppositions to drugs. 

In 1988, the National Family Partnership coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary Chairpersons.  Since then, the Red Ribbon campaign has taken on national significance.  Wearing red ribbons during the month of October continues to represent our pledge to live drug free and honors the sacrifice of all who have lost their lives in the fight against drugs.

Celebrate Red Ribbon Week in your community or your child’s school, and raise awareness of living a drug free life. Take the opportunity to talk to your kids about drugs.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn a patch. Learn more at the DEA Red Ribbon Patch Program.

Check out the DEA Red Ribbon Toolkit with fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, promotion ideas, a sample Red Ribbon press release, Red Ribbon Graphics, and Red Ribbon video, all available to download.

Red Ribbon Week Fact Sheet

Ways to promote Red Ribbon in your school or community

Sample student and parent Red Ribbon Week pledges

Celebrating a Hero's Life—the story of Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena

Sample Red Ribbon Week Proclamation

Watch the Red Ribbon Week Video

For more information, visit http://www.dea.gov/redribbon/RedRibbonCampaign.shtml

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