Office of Drug Control Policy
Kentucky’s Anti-Drug Coalitions and Schools Commemorate Red Ribbon Week

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 25, 2005  
Contact Information:  Contact Stacy Floden
(502) 564-8220

FRANKFORT, KY:  Red Ribbon Week is Monday, October 24, 2005 through Friday, October 28th.  Champions for a Drug Free Kentucky Coalitions, schools and communities have events planned to commemorate Red Ribbon Week.

Red Ribbon Week was inspired by the work and sacrifice of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.  In 1985, Camarena was working undercover in Mexico to gather information on local drug traffickers.  His identity was discovered and he was abducted, tortured and killed.

A movement to honor Camarena’s memory was launched within weeks by his friends and family in his hometown of Calexio, California.  Camarena Clubs were organized and members pledged to live drug free in honor of the fallen agent and others like him.  In 1988, the U.S. Congress proclaimed the last week of October as Red Ribbon Week.

In honor of Red Ribbon Week, Champions Coalitions, in partnership with community schools, are hosting events to commemorate the week.  In Hardin County, students will be shown anti-drug videos during the first period each day, with a report of the same video during the second period.  In Allen County, the high school students are having a “Grim Reaper” activity in which a person dressed as the Grim Reaper will appear in class rooms with local statistics about drug abuse.  In Pulaski County, students are planting red tulips as a reminder in the spring that they chose to be drug-free in October.

“These organizations exemplify the excellent work that coalitions are doing around the country to prevent and reduce drug use in their communities,” says Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director, Teresa Barton.  “By using sound and strategic practices, these coalitions are building safe and drug-free communities.”

The mission of Champions for a Drug Free Kentucky is “to promote the prevention of the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and the reduction of violence in Kentucky communities.  Champions was created in 1986.  Champions Coalitions are volunteer-driven.  They implement prevention curriculum in their community’s schools and environmental strategies in the community.  Currently, we have over 90 active coalitions in Kentucky.