DEA Supports Healthy, Drug-free Lives with 2022 Red Ribbon Campaign
WASHINGTON – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration launched its annual Red Ribbon Campaign – the nation’s largest drug prevention effort – on October 23 to unite communities across the country in the shared goal of preventing drug use and addiction. This year’s theme, “Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free,” reminds all Americans that living a drug-free lifestyle contributes greatly to the safety and health of their communities.
“October is an important month for the men and women of DEA as we visit communities and schools to encourage young people to live healthy, drug-free lifestyles in honor of fallen Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “Education around the dangers of fentanyl and fake pills is more important than ever. I encourage everyone to join us in our celebration of Red Ribbon Week.”
The National Red Ribbon Campaign honors the life of Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena who was tortured and brutally murdered by drug traffickers in Mexico in March 1985.
The campaign is dedicated to furthering the cause for which Special Agent Camarena gave his life: the fight against the drug crime.
Red Ribbon Week began in 1985 in Kiki’s hometown of Calexico, California, and soon gained momentum across California and then the rest of the country. The National Family Partnership turned Red Ribbon Week into a national drug awareness campaign, an eight-day event proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by then President and Mrs. Reagan.
Approximately 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events every year.
During the rally, DEA also recognizes the winners of the 2022 DEA Community Drug Prevention Awards and the Red Ribbon Visual Arts Contest winners. Additional highlights include remarks by 14-year NFL veteran Antoine Bethea; a virtual color guard by the College Park, Maryland Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol; a performance by the Drug-Free Baltimore Coalition Youth Collaboration; and musical performances by the Osbourn Park High School Madrigal Singers from Manassas, Virginia.
As part of the Red Ribbon Week campaign, DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are sponsoring the 7th Annual Red Ribbon Campus Video PSA Contest. To learn more, visit www.campusdrugprevention.gov/psacontest. DEA is also a co-sponsor of the National Family Partnership’s 12th annual Red Ribbon Week Photo Contest. For more information, visit www.redribbon.org.
In addition to the rally, DEA and Discovery Education are offering educators new digital resources to address the dangers associated with fentanyl and fake pills as part of Operation Prevention. The new science-based lesson plan and videos equip students in grades 9–12 with an understanding of what fentanyl and fake pills are and why they are so harmful to individuals and communities. To access these resources, visit www.operationprevention.com.
For a toolkit of Red Ribbon materials and more information, visit the Red Ribbon Campaign page on www.dea.gov/redribbon.