person holding up a red ribbon

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, 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 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 opposition 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. 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 and raise awareness of living a drug-free life. 

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red ribbon promotional badge

Campus Video PSA Contest

As part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Red Ribbon Week campaign, DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are cosponsoring a Campus Video PSA Contest for colleges and universities to promote the importance of preventing alcohol and drug misuse among college students. Learn more.

 

More Red Ribbon Week Information

Check out the DEA Red Ribbon Toolkit with fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, promotion ideas, a sample Red Ribbon press release, Red Ribbon Graphics, and Red Ribbon video, all available to download.