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What is a Red Ribbon Week?

Poushali Ganguly Jun 3, 2019
The Red Ribbon Week is a national celebration, in order to preserve the memory of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, an agent who served in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. It focuses on creating awareness about the evils of drug use and alcoholism, and preventing addiction, especially among teenagers.
The Red Ribbon Week is an initiative by the government and people of United States for the prevention and education of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The last full week of October is celebrated as the Red Ribbon Week. The preceding and following weekends may also be included as the celebration dates.
During this period, students all over the country pledge to live a drug-free and alcohol-free life. Red Ribbon Week is the most far-reaching and well-known drug-prevention event in America. The National Family Partnership, which coordinates the activities nationally, estimates that more than 80 million Americans participate in special events every year.


The first Red Ribbon Week Celebration was organized in 1986, by a group of parents concerned about the annihilation caused by alcohol and drug abuse. The red ribbon was adopted as a symbol, in honor of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, an agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration who was kidnapped and killed, while investigating drug traffickers.
Nancy Reagan is the one who took the initiative, and put the Red Ribbon Week into action. Today, the campaign has reached millions of children, and has been recognized by the U.S. Congress.


There are several points that are stressed throughout the week. These include encouraging children to get involved in positive activities, and being a good role model for others. People of all age groups participate in this campaign. At the elementary level, high school students pin red ribbons to each student.
At the middle school level, the activities include assemblies, red clothes day, or building improvement projects. In certain schools, seniors and children together plant saplings in a garden. This garden serves as a constant reminder to students, as well as the community, that it is important to remain drug-free.
To spread awareness, students are asked to write essays, give presentations, participate in debates, and speak about the ill effects of drugs and alcohol. They are encouraged to ask questions, as well as express their opinions and thoughts.
Individuals who have made outstanding contributions to encourage the prevention of tobacco, alcohol, and drug consumption, are felicitated by various organizations. The Red Ribbon Week is a positive activity, since it brings the entire community together to stand up against the evils of drug addiction and alcoholism.