Q: What is Red Ribbon Week?
A: Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31, is an important observance that helps educate kids, families and communities about the dangers of drug use. Red Ribbon week began in Calexico, California, in 1985, when community members joined together to wear red ribbons and pledge to live a drug-free life in honor of a fallen hometown hero, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camerena. Special Agent Camerena was kidnapped, tortured and then assassinated that year by drug traffickers as he was working to expose their operations. Since then, the tradition of wearing red ribbons and taking a stand against alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use has grown to include students from all over the country.
Q: How does Red Ribbon Week help kids make the right choices?
A: Studies have shown that the longer kids remain drug-free, the less likely they are to ever become addicted to or even try illegal drugs. Kids need to make the right decision from the start about drugs. It's up to everyone children, families and communities to be informed about the harmful effects of drugs. The problems created by drug use ripple through the entire community, so we all need to do our part, starting with parents at home. It's important to provide kids with a clear, straight-forward and sustained anti-drug message from early adolescence all the way to adulthood. Kids need to hear and understand the message that drugs are dangerous and destructive, and that using drugs hurts them, as well as those who love and care for them.