CT Clearinghouse

Red Ribbon Week

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, and NFP continues to coordinate the campaign for families, schools and communities across the nation each year.  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, promotion ideas, a sample Red Ribbon press release, Red Ribbon Graphics, and Red Ribbon video, all available to download.

Take the #DrugFreeLooksLikeMe Social Media Challenge
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Show us what Drug Free Looks like! Have someone take a picture of you holding up the Red Ribbon Theme Sign and post it to Social Media during Red Ribbon Week from October 23 through 31st. Add the hashtags #DrugFreeLooksLikeMe and #RedRibbonWeek. You could win an Amazon gift card!

And don't forget to follow #DEARedRibbon on Twitter for all the latest updates on DEA's Red Ribbon Week celebration!