Staff Report
NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has joined schools across the state and nation to celebrate Red Ribbon Week, which ended last week.
According to event organizers, the celebration is a time for youth, educators, parents, and communities to learn about the dangers of drug use and prevent addiction.
Those that take part in the event are fully confident of its benefits and that Red Ribbon Week raises awareness of drug use and the problems related to drugs facing our communities and encourages parents, educators, business owners, and other community organizations to promote drug-free lifestyles.
“Red Ribbon Week is an opportunity for us all to show our support for our young people and demonstrate that it’s possible to live a drug-free life,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.
Williams added that “Whatever role you play in a young person’s life, whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach,
youth pastor, or other community leader, you have the ability to influence decisions for good.”
The first official Red Ribbon Week celebration was created by the National Family Partnership in 1988 to mark the 1985 murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique S. “Kiki” Camarena.
Shortly after his death, citizens from his hometown of Calexico, California, began wearing red ribbons to remember him and
commemorate his sacrifice.