Red Ribbon Week

Eddie Nguyen, News Editor

Red Ribbon Week is an event that is hosted from October 23rd to October 31st each year. The entire week is dedicated to raising the awareness of drugs and how it can be have negative effects on the lives of many. Although many people know of Red Ribbon Week and why we celebrate it, not many know about the origin and history of it.

According to Prevention Partners, Red Ribbon Week started with the death of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Enrique was always a very hard worker as told by his wife Mika Camarena. He was able to attend college, serve his time in the marines, and soon after become a police officer. His final occupation before death was his position as a DEA agent. Enrique was met with conflict from his peers and friends, worried about his safety, but he would not budge.

“I can’t not do this,” Enrique told his mother. “I’m only one person, but I want to make a difference.” (Prevention Partners).

Continuing the story as stated by Red Ribbon Campaign, Enrique was forced into a car by 5 men on February 7th 1985 and disappeared. After finding his body one month later, it was discovered that he was tortured then killed. To honor Enrique’s death, friends and colleagues wore red ribbons. Then within weeks of his death, Camarena’s Congressman, Duncan Hunter, and high school friend Henry Lozano, helped to create the  Camarena Clubs in Imperial Valley, California. The club gained a very big following in their local area and eventually reached out to Nancy Reagan, former first lady, and gained national attention.

Now all across America, people come together to help educate the youth on dangerous drug use and to pay their respects to everyone who help to put a stop to drug cartels and drug abuse. Schools have also made huge contributions to this, including Arroyo High School.

This year in Arroyo High School, they have put in a lot more effort into Red Ribbon Week. The school has gone as far as to provide all of their students with reusable bottles, drug free dog tags, and take about twenty five minutes to discuss an article about the history of this special week. Compared to the red wristbands that were given out in previous years, this has been a very big step forward in combating drug use in the school.