Why Red Ribbon Week Is Important
Red Ribbon Week, A History of Hope
The Sallisaw NOW Coalition has taken a leading role in the community in celebrating Red Ribbon Week.
Red Ribbon Week, which runs from October 23 through October 31, is an annual celebration of drug-free living. Red Ribbon Weeks is sponsored by the National Family Partnership (NFP).
The NFP is a nonprofit organization founded in 1980 by a group of parents who felt that it was up to them to take a proactive role in drug education and prevention in their community. Since its grassroots beginning 40 years ago, the NFP has grown to become a nation-wide leader in drug prevention awareness, education and advocacy.
Origins of The Red Ribbon
The Red Ribbon began in 1985 as a symbolic response to the murder of United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique Camarena. Upon joining the DEA in 1974, Camarena reportedly told his mother that while he was only one person, he was determined to do his part to make a difference in the battle against illegal drugs.
After leaving his office for a lunch date with his wife in February 1985, Camarena was kidnapped by 5 assailants. One month later, Camarena’s mutilated body was found after he had been kidnapped and tortured to death by a local drug cartel.
In 2017 Miguel Angel Felix, co-founder of the Guadalajara drug cartel, was sentenced in a Mexican federal court for the 1985 murder of agent Camarena.
Since 1988, the NFP has sponsored the National Red Ribbon Celebration.
Sallisaw NOW Coalition Makes A Difference
In Sequoyah County, the Sallisaw NOW Coalition partners with local public schools to celebrate Red Ribbon Week by providing the schools with Red Ribbon merchandise and educational materials.
This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is “Be Happy. Be Brave, Be Drug Free.” According to the NFP’s 2020 Red Ribbon Campaign Planning Guide, the Red Ribbon Campaign uses evidence-based principles for the prevention of substance abuse. The guide also claims that the children of parents who openly discuss with them the perils of drug abuse are 42% less likely to abuse drugs than are the children of parents who don’t discuss drug abuse.
To find out more about Sallisaw NOW and how we serve the community visit us at www.sallisawnow.com.