Red Ribbon Week
What is Red Ribbon Week?
Red Ribbon Week is the largest drug prevention campaign in the nation. Launched in 1988 with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons for the event. Traditionally, the campaign is celebrated during the last two weeks of October with October 23rd-31st being the official Red Ribbon Week.
Why Celebrate Red Ribbon Week?
It is an ideal way for people & communities to unite and take a visible stand against drugs. Show your personal commitment to a drug-free lifestyle by participating in a Red Ribbon Week Celebration in your community.
Brief History of Red Ribbon Week:
Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers on February 7, 1985. His tragic and untimely death opened the eyes of Americans to the dangers of drugs and the scope of the international drug trade; thus Red Ribbon Week emerged as a reminder of the dangers involving drugs. The first localized events were celebrated in LaMirada and Norwalk, California. In 1988 the National Family Partnership (NFP) coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week. Since then, the campaign has been growing and gaining support worldwide. The campaign has become a wonderful way to keep the memory alive of Kiki Camarena who truly was a hero in the war against drugs. An estimated 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon Week each year.
Be a Part of Red Ribbon Week:
NIMCO, INC makes planning your Red Ribbon Week easy with products that will fit even the tightest budget. Our marketing department will assist you each step of the way as you plan your campaign; we also have earth-friendly campaigns to celebrate the event. We take great pride in introducing the national Red Ribbon Week theme each year at CADCA in Washington DC. Our website www.nimcoinc.com is only a click away from assisting you with all your needs in order to have an educational and fun-filled Red Ribbon Week.
Red Ribbon Week 2021 is October 23rd-31st
This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is Drug Free Looks Like Me™ You can view and purchase this year’s theme by clicking here!
Seeing the Connections—The Future of Our Youth Is in Your Hands
Alcohol and drug use by children and youth is associated with poor academic performance, impaired development, mental health issues, and many factors that affect the health and behavior of youth. This fact sheet provides valuable data from the Nation’s most reliable data sources (including the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and Monitoring the Future) that can help you assist local media in their coverage of substance abuse issues where you live.
Drug Use Among Youth
• Among youths aged 12-17, 10.6 percent were current illicit drug users: 7.6 percent used marijuana, 3.6 percent used prescription-type drugs, 1.2 percent used inhalants, 0.8 percent used hallucinogens, and 0.5 percent used cocaine.1
• Higher rates of dependence or abuse were seen among persons initiating use at a younger age. For example, among adults aged 18 or older who first tried marijuana at age 14 or younger, 13.4 percent were classified with illicit drug dependence or abuse compared with only 2.7 percent of adults who had first used marijuana at age 18 or older.1
• With respect to using any illicit drug other than marijuana in the past 30 days, the rank order was as follows: 12th graders (10 percent), college students and 19-to 28-year-olds (both 8 percent), 10th graders (7 percent), and 8th graders (5 percent). Usage rates among 10th and 12th graders tended to be higher than among young adults.2
• In 2004, 10 percent of 12th graders reported annual use of amphetamines,
9.3 percent said they had used Vicodin, and 5 percent said they had used OxyContin in that time period. Amphetamines became the second-ranking illicit drug among high school seniors after marijuana.3
• Early substance abuse increases the likelihood of a person developing psychiatric disorders in his or her late 20s.4
• Persons who used tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other illicit substances in earlier years were more likely to have diagnoses of major depressive disorder (MDD, 17 percent), alcohol dependence (23 percent), or substance use disorders (SUDs, 40 percent) in their late 20s.4
Youth Delinquent Behavior
• Youths who had run away from home in the past 12 months were more likely to have used alcohol, marijuana, or an illicit drug other than marijuana in the past year than youths who had not run away.5
• Marijuana was used in the past year by 23 percent of the runaways aged 12 to 17 and 12 percent of those who had not run away from home.5
• The percentages of youths engaging in delinquent behaviors rose with increasing frequency of marijuana use.6
• In 2003, more than 5.8 million youths engaged in serious fighting at school or work and almost 4.3 million took part in a group-against-group fight in the past year.7
• Over half (57 percent) of those who used marijuana 300 or more days in the past year reported that they also sold illegal drugs.6
Perception of Harm
• Youths perceiving great risk from using marijuana once or twice a month were less likely to use substances than youths perceiving moderate, slight, or no risk.7
• Among youths aged 12 to 17, approximately 35 percent perceived great risk from smoking marijuana once a month, and 49.6 percent perceived great risk from using cocaine once a month. Smoking one or more packs of cigarettes per day was cited as a great risk by 67.5 percent of youths.1
Perception of Parental Disapproval
• Youths who perceive that their parents would “strongly disapprove” of their use of illicit substances were much less likely to use those substances than youths who perceived that their parents would “somewhat disapprove, or neither approve nor disapprove.”1
• Among youths who perceived that their parents would strongly disapprove of their smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day (90.6 percent of youths), only 8.8 percent had smoked cigarettes in the past month compared with 42.2 percent of youths who perceived that their parents would not strongly disapprove.1
• Most youths (89.8 percent) reported that their parents would strongly disapprove of their trying marijuana once or twice. Among these youths, only 5.1 percent had used marijuana in the past month. However, among youths who perceived that their parents would only somewhat disapprove or neither approve nor disapprove of their trying marijuana, 30 percent reported past-month use of marijuana.1
Participation in Religious Activities
• In 2004, 7.9 million youths (32 percent) aged 12-17 attended religious services 25 times or more in the past year. More than three in four youths(18.9 million) reported that religious beliefs are a very important part of their lives and 68 percent (16.8 million) reported that religious beliefs influenced how they make decisions. Youths aged 12 to 17 with higher levels of religiosity were less likely to have used cigarettes, alcohol, or illicit drugs in the past month than youths with lower levels of religiosity.7
• Youths aged 12 to 17, those who participated in two or more youth activities during the past year were less likely to have used marijuana in the past month than other youths.7
Exposure to Prevention Messages
• Rates of past-year alcohol and illicit drug use were lower for youths who had seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages at school in the past year than youths who had not seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages at school.1
• Among youths aged 12 to 17 who were enrolled in school during the past 12 months, 78.2 percent reported having seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages in school during that period. Of those indicating they had seen or heard these messages, the rate of past-month marijuana use was
7.1 percent compared with 10.6 percent for the remaining youths.1
1. Office of Applied Studies. (2005). Results from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA.
2. Johnston, L.D., O’Malley, P.M. et al. (2004). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2003: Volume II College students and adults ages 19-45. Bethesda, MD: NIDA.
3. Johnston, L.D., O’Malley, P.M. et al. (2005). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2004.
4. Brook. D.W., Brook, J.S., et al. (2002). Drug use and risk of major depressive disorder, alcohol dependence, and substance use disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59(11), 1039-1044.
5. Office of Applied Studies. (2004). The NSDUH Report: Substance Use Among Youths Who Had Run Away From Home. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA.
6. Office of Applied Studies. (2004). The NSDUH Report: Marijuana Use and Delinquent Behaviors Among Youths. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA.
7. Office of Applied Studies. (2005). Results from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA
Here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate Red Ribbon Week in your community:
• Wear red ribbons and distribute them to staff and employees.
• Issue a proclamation declaring the last week of October “Red Ribbon Week” in
• Promote Red Ribbon Week in speeches and newsletters.
• Display red ribbons on the interior and exterior surfaces of city and county buildings.
• Appoint a representative to be on the community Red Ribbon planning committee.
• Encourage police and fire departments to participate in Red Ribbon Week activities.
• Contact the press to show your community support for Red Ribbon Week.
• Include a Red Ribbon message in employee pay checks, in water bills, etc.
• Wear red ribbons and distribute them to staff and officers.
• Display red ribbons on the interior and exterior surfaces of the building.
• Display red ribbons in a prominent place on all vehicles.
• Help plan and participate in Red Ribbon Week activities.
• Offer to speak at community programs on alcohol and drug issues.
• Organize a special alcohol and drug seminar for the community.
• Wear red ribbons and distribute them to your employees, customers, schools, etc.
• Display red ribbons and posters on the interior and exterior surfaces of your building.
• Place a Red Ribbon message in your advertisements, newsletters, and monthly statements.
• Sponsor a Red Ribbon Week activity (i.e., fun run, bike-a-thon, community breakfast, etc.).
• Promote Red Ribbon Week on signs and marquees.
• Advertise Red Ribbon special discounts or sales for customers wearing a red ribbon.
• Initiate drug education programs for employees.
•Wear red ribbons and distribute them to your employees, including TV anchor persons, news reporters, etc.
•Display red ribbons and posters on the interior and exterior surfaces of your building.
•Inform the community about Red Ribbon Week, encouraging them to participate.
•Produce and air Red Ribbon public service announcements.
•Invite Red Ribbon community leaders to appear on talk shows.
•Assign reporters to cover Red Ribbon activities.
•Feature drug education information during Red Ribbon Week.
•Publish a special Red Ribbon insert in newspapers with articles and ads to distribute during Red Ribbon Week.
•Initiate drug education programs for employees.
•Display a basket of red ribbons in the waiting room or lobby for patients and family members.
•Display red ribbons and posters on the interior and exterior surfaces of buildings.
•Create a display on alcohol and drug abuse prevention information.
•Adopt a school and donate ribbons for Red Ribbon Week.
•Give red balloons to children with a message to reject drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
•Distribute and wear red ribbons at religious services.
•Give a drug-free message in a sermon.
•Include a special Red Ribbon insert in bulletins.
•Sponsor in-service educational programs for priests, ministers, rabbis, teachers, secretaries, volunteers, and the congregation.
•Address alcohol and drug problems during youth and adult meetings.
•Hold prayer vigils for those affected by the use of drugs.
•Invite youth to wear and distribute red ribbons during religious services.
•Plan essay contests, poster contests, and journalism competitions.
•Wear red ribbons and distribute them to students and staff.
•Organize drug education programs and integrate alcohol and drug information into all curricula during Red Ribbon Week.
•Observe Red Ribbon Week activities.
•Provide drug education in-service for teachers and staff.
•Invite parents and families to a special health fair or drug education program.
•Decorate your school.
•Wear red ribbons.
•Talk to your kids about the dangerous effects of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use.
•Participate in planning and implementing Red Ribbon community activities.
•Volunteer to cut and distribute red ribbons.
•Schedule a community meeting focusing on drug education.
•Participate in Family Day—September 28, 2009.
During National Plant the Promise Week on October 23-31, schools, businesses, parents, and youths across America will plant bulbs that will bloom into vibrant red, white, and blue tulips and will serve as a constant reminder for staying drug free. Most bulbs that are planted during National Plant the Promise Week will bloom during April, which is National Alcohol Awareness Month. Order your Red Ribbon Week bulbs today by logging onto www.nimcoinc.com.