Since 1985 the National Red Ribbon Campaign has reached out to millions of families and communities. They spread awareness about the consequences of substance abuse. Their goal is to support and lead our youth in reaching their full potential by living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
The National Family Partnership (NFP) established the Red Ribbon Campaign. The mission of this campaign is to play a leadership role in drug education and prevention. With a growing team of nearly 100 partners, the NFP continues to serve as a national advocate and resource for our youth.
How the Red Ribbon Campaign Began
The Red Ribbon Campaign honors the memory of a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in New Mexico. The agent, Enrique (Kiki) Camarena, was kidnapped outside his office, on February 7, 1985. One month later, his tortured body was found.
After Mr. Camarena’s death, friends and neighbors and angry parents across the country began wearing badges made of red satin to honor his memory and support his legacy of fighting substance abuse. The coalitions they formed also wore the red ribbons to honor Camarena’s belief that one person can make a difference in the battle against illegal drugs.
Later, in 1988, the NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. It continues today to encourage communities to participate in the event each October. This year’s Red Ribbon Campaign runs from October 23 – 31.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “Life is Your Journey. Travel Drug-Free.” A middle school student in Solon, Ohio created the theme. Because his theme was chosen, the school he attends will receive national recognition and $500 in Red Ribbon Themed merchandise. When schools participate in this way, it helps the students get involved in substance abuse education and hopefully it will make a lasting impression.
Ways to Get Involved in the National Red Ribbon Campaign
Parents are encouraged to get involved in the campaign all year long by talking to their children about drug abuse. But, in addition to talking to their kids, there are many other ways to show your support. For instance:
- Sign the Red Ribbon Pledge – You pledge to set guidelines for helping children grow up drug-free.
- Donate to the Campaign – Even one dollar can help.
- Download this year’s planning guide – The guide has a lot of information about the campaign and gives ideas for celebrating the event in your community.
- Purchase promotional merchandise – These items will be great to use at the events planned in your community. This merchandise is an excellent way to encourage others to make smart choices about drugs.
- Other ways to participate – Check this page for other suggestions of ways to join in Red Ribbon events or create one in your area.
Join A Forever Recovery in Making a Difference
At A Forever Recovery, we help people overcome their addictions and live a healthy, substance-free life. But, we are also devoted to prevention and education about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. We would like to encourage you to get involved in Red Ribbon Week this year. Let’s all commit to doing something to keep a child from experimenting with addictive substances.
As advocates for drug education and prevention, we hope all parents will get involved in Red Ribbon Week and any other events that promote awareness about the repercussions of drug and alcohol abuse.
If you would like more information about the National Red Ribbon Campaign, you can contact us at our toll-free number. Also, we are available to help you choose a treatment program for yourself or a loved one who has been struggling with substance abuse problems.