Wear the Red Ribbon: Key to your future

Red Ribbon Week, observed Oct. 23-31, 2017, is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in America. Red Ribbon Week began after DEA agent Kiki Camarena was tragically killed by a drug cartel in Mexico, in 1985. His friends started wearing red ribbons to symbolize his sacrifice for drug-free kids and communities.

Today, schools and communities across the country celebrate Red Ribbon Week during the end of October. This year’s theme is “Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug Free.”

The theme was created by a middle school student, in Solon, Ohio. “I came up with the theme by first considering what doing drugs would affect, and the obvious answer to me was your future,” she said. “You don’t get a second future. It’s why you do a lot of the things you do – in hopes of having a good future.”

“This topic is important to me as it is to everyone.” Her mother added. “Aside from all the social problems caused by drug abuse, as a parent, it’s just heartbreaking to see kids being victimized by drugs when they could have a bright future.”

Drug Free Osage County and Osage County school districts participate in observing Red Ribbon Week in a variety of ways, such as holding theme days, hosting speakers, wearing red bracelets, and planting red tulip bulbs. When the bright red tulips come up in the spring, students are again reminded of the importance of a drug-free lifestyle.

The National Family Partnership organized the first National Red Ribbon Week in 1988. The grassroots non-profit organization had been established several years earlier by a group of concerned parents who were convinced that they should begin to play a leadership role in drug prevention.

For more information about Drug Free Osage County, see Drug Free Osage County Inc. on Facebook. For more information about Red Ribbon Week, see redribbon.org/about/.

Information thanks to Peggy Clark, Drug Free Osage County.


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