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Red Ribbon Week 2012: The Best Me is Drug Free

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Every year since the program was first organized by The National Family Partnership in 1988, Red Ribbon Week has increased awareness of drug prevention especially in schools across America.  This year, Red Ribbon Week lasts from October 23-31 and the theme is “The Best Me is Drug Free”.  Since 1988 The National Red Ribbon Campaign has become the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation.  Although the main goal of the program is to promote awareness and educate youth to participate in drug prevention activities, the NFP also works to influence policy makers on a local, state, and national level to create new drug laws and improve the existing ones.

History of Red Ribbon Campaign

The program was started by the NFP in 1988 after an incident in 1985 involving the death of a United States Drug Enforcement Administration agent.  Enrique ‘Kiki” Camarena was a Mexican-American who served in the United States Marine Corps, before joining the DEA at their Clexico, California, office.  In the early eighties he was reassigned to the Guadalajara office in Mexico to work on the drug trafficking cases across the border.  After tipping off Mexican authorities to a 1000-hectare marijuana plantation Camarena became a target of Mexican drug lords.  In February 1985 Camarena was kidnapped in broad day light and tortured to death by the mexican cartel. His body was found in a shallow grave a month later and the U.S struggled to prosecute his assailants. Following his death, citizens in his hometown of Calexico wore red ribbons in his honor, and those ribbons became a symbol for drug prevention.

How to Commemorate Red Ribbon Week 2012

Every year individuals are encouraged to wear a red ribbon somewhere on their clothing during the week to promote awareness.  This year this is a decorating contest where families can decorate the outside of their homes using this years theme of “The Best Me is Drug Free” and then upload photos to the Reb Ribbon Week Facebook page before November 2nd.  Families that enter the contest have a chance to win a $1,000 grant for the school of their choosing along with a new iPad for their own home.  Visitors to the facebook page will vote on the entries until November 16th and then ten winners from across the United States will be announced.

Red Ribbon week is an important campaign to promote drug awareness and prevention across the United States.  The campaign seeks to honor Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena for making the ultimate sacrifice almost 30 years ago in the war on drugs.  Kids will be encouraged to wear their ribbons proudly and also sign pledges to stay drug free.  This is a week where we can show all of the individuals who put their lives on the line enforcing drug laws that we are thankful for them.   


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