Red Ribbon Week

by Jessica Leiva

Red Ribbon Week is a week in October that celebrates the youth being drug free. Every year, schools across America celebrate Red Ribbon week. Each year has a new theme, with this year’s theme being, ‘Celebrating Life Drug Free’.

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s largest and longest running drug free campaign. Red Ribbon Week first started in 1985. The campaign was made in memory of Enrique Camarena, a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent. Camarena, in the past, struggled with an addiction to illegal drugs. He thought it would be best if he joined the DEA, even though his mother disagreed.

On February 7, 1985 in Mexico, 37-year-old Camarena was kidnapped by 5 men on his way to lunch with his wife. His body was found one month later. Enraged citizens wore Red Ribbons as a symbol for the killing and destruction that can be caused by drugs.

The first national Red Ribbon Celebration was in 1988, sponsored by NFP (National Family Partnership). The NFP brings the concerns and plans of America’s families to policy makers on a local, state, and national level. NPF also has a selection on prevent brochures to educate others of drug free campaigns such as; Lock Your Meds, Red Ribbon Campaign, and Red Ribbon Certified Schools.

At Methuen High, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) club represents the Red Ribbon Campaign. This year, the 24-28 of October was dedicated as Red Ribbon Week.

SADD club has also scheduled a spirit day called ‘Wear Red Day’ on Wednesday, October 26. Simple things like wearing red on spirit days shows your care and effort for the Red Ribbon Campaign’s movement.

In the past, Methuen High has had guest speakers and door decorating contest to celebrate and represent Red Ribbon Week

A freshman member of SADD club, Mason Carter, emphasized Red Ribbon Week as an essential part of any drug free district. “Absolutely,” Mason said, responding to a question about weather Red Ribbon Week is important. “People need to be aware of substance abuse.” And with all of the drug free campaigns we have, change is bound to happen.


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