Prevention Plus: Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is a national annual drug prevention campaign. This year Red Ribbon Week takes place from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31. The event began in 1988 after a U.S. Drug Enforcement agent named Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was murdered in Mexico while working undercover in the war against drugs. Angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America. With the help of Nancy Reagan in 1988, an eight-day Red Ribbon Week was proclaimed by the Congress of the United States as a national drug prevention effort. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. The theme of this year’s campaign is Your Future Is Key, So Stay Drug Free.

For more than 20 years, students at East Ridge Middle School (ERMS) have been celebrating

Red Ribbon Week. This year a variety of activities will occur. A highlight of the week will be the “Slam the Door on Drugs” door decorating contest. Students will create slogans and themes that encourage each other to live drug-free. Students are also encouraged to dress in red to show their drug-free spirit. In addition, ERMS students will receive a special Red Ribbon Week pencil, and advisory lessons will focus on healthy decision-making and positive peer pressure.

In addition to the Red Ribbon Week activities at ERMS, both Scotts Ridge Middle School and Ridgefield High School have multiple drug prevention and awareness activities planned throughout the school year.

To learn more about Red Ribbon Week and to start activities among your youth groups or neighborhoods, visit or download the fact sheet at