Sunday, October 23, 2011

Drug Prevention Week


By Diane Forrest,

I remember a long while watching the Academy awards several of the stars had red ribbons on their clothes.    It was later learned that those ribbons represented Aids Awareness.  That started an explosion.  There are different colored ribbons for almost every disease.  Click here for a list of ribbons and what they represent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awareness_ribbons

While you may think of Aids when you see a red ribbon, this week is red ribbon week, and it is to make you aware of Drug Prevention.  You might say this was the pioneer of ribbon wearing.

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation reaching millions of Americans during the last week of October every year. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pledge to live a drug-free life.

It all started in 1985 when Special Agent Kiki Camarena, who was an 11-year veteran of the DEA assigned to the Guadalajara, Mexico, was on the trail of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. On February 7, 1985, he was kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. His tragic death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs and the international scope of the drug trade.

Shortly after Kiki’s death, Congressman Duncan Hunter and Kiki’s high school friend Henry Lozano launched “Camarena Clubs” in Kiki’s hometown of Calexico, California. Hundreds of club members pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifice made by Kiki Camarena.  These pledges were delivered to First Lady Nancy Reagan at a national conference of parents, and in 1988, the National Family Partnership (NFP) coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons.

Ways to participate in red ribbon week include, sponsoring essay and poster contests; organizing drug-free races; decorating buildings in red; handing out red ribbons to customers; holding parades or community events; and by publicizing the value of a drug-free, healthy lifestyle.

For more information click here:  http://www.redribboncoalition.com/index.php/history


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