United States Drug Enforcement Administration is gearing up to kick off its
annual Red Ribbon Campaign, the nation’s largest drug prevention effort, which
launches October 23.
National Red Ribbon Campaign began after drug traffickers in Mexico tortured
and brutally murdered Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in March 1985. Red
Ribbon Week is officially celebrated nationally from October 23-31; however,
communities and school districts nationwide hold events throughout the month.
Red Ribbon Campaign is dedicated to helping to preserve Special Agent
Camarena's memory and further the cause for which he gave his life – the fight
against the violence of drug crime and the misery of addiction. By gathering
together in special events and wearing red ribbons during the last week in
October, Americans from all walks of life demonstrate their opposition to
Ribbon Week started as a local effort in Camarena’s hometown of Calexico,
California, when former Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Camarena’s high
school friend, Henry Lozano, created Camarena Clubs to keep Kiki’s memory
alive. The National Family Partnership turned Red Ribbon Week into a national
drug awareness campaign, an eight-day event proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and
chaired by then President and Mrs. Reagan.
80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events every year.
advance of Red Ribbon Week, the National Red Ribbon Rally will be held on
October 17 for DEA and other federal employees, drug abuse prevention partners,
and members of the military. Members of the public can watch the 2018 National
Red Ribbon Rally live via webcast at 11 a.m. EDT/8 a.m. PDT Wednesday, Oct. 17,
2018, at www.dea.gov and www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com.
keynote speaker for this year’s Red Ribbon Rally will be Deputy Director of the
Office of National Drug Control Policy James Carroll. During the rally, DEA
Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon will recognize the winners of the 2018 DEA
Community Drug Prevention Awards and the 2018 Red Ribbon Bookmark contest
winners. There will also be musical performances by Eat at Joe’s from
Georgetown Day High School in Washington, D.C. The emcee for the event will be
NBC4’s news anchor Jim Handly.
addition to the rally, DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration are sponsoring their 3rd Annual Red Ribbon Week Campus Video PSA
Contest. To learn more, visit www.campusdrugprevention.gov/psacontest. DEA
is also a co-sponsor to the National Family Partnership’s 8th Annual Red Ribbon
Photo Contest. For more information on the photo contest, go to www.RedRibbon.org. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
can also earn a patch through DEA’s Red Ribbon Patch program. To learn
more visit www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com/get-involved/red-ribbon-week-Patch-program.