Raising Awareness About Drug Prevention With Red Ribbon Week

Skye Isenblatter, Reporter

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According to www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov, Red Ribbon Week is known as “the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the Nation”. Each year, Red Ribbon Week takes place from October 23 to 31, all over the United States. High schools and communities celebrate Red Ribbon Week with fundraisers, dress up days, and informational classes to learn about the consumption of alcohol and drug use.
Red Ribbon Week was created in 1985 following the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique Camarena who was kidnapped and tortured in Mexico. He was kidnapped while leaving to meet his wife for lunch on February 7, 1985. A month later, he was found dead with signs of being tortured. His career was battling illegal drug use. Unfortunately, he was killed because of that.
In Camarena’s memory, people who lived in his community began wearing red ribbons. Many parents began events to rid of abuse of alcohol and drugs. They used Camarena as their model to demonstrate how innocent people lose their lives because of that abuse.
In 1988, the first celebration was sponsored by the National Family Partnership. Since then, the Red Ribbon has been used to educate young people before they decide to abuse drugs.
Griffith High School takes part in the Red Ribbon Week celebration every year. This year they had a spirit week. On Monday, students wore red to “kick off Red Ribbon Week pledging to be drug free”. On Tuesday, students dressed up in jerseys to “team up against drugs”. On Wednesday, students wore pink for breast cancer. On Thursday, students dressed up in Hawaiian themed clothing to “lei off drugs”. On Friday, students wore neon clothing to show that “our drug free future is bright”. Red papers with a ribbon on it that said “I choose to be drug free” were signed by students and put on their lockers to spread awareness.
By spreading awareness, students are more educated on drug and alcohol use. They have the ability to learn more about the long term effects that are caused by abuse.
“I love when Red Ribbon Week comes each year because not only do we learn about the long term affects caused by drug abuse, we also get to dress up in crazy themes each day,” said sophomore Ashley Shepard.