Red Ribbon Week 2023: Be Kind To Your Mind. Live Drug Free.

Behind the Red Ribbons

With the initiation of Red Ribbon Week from October 23rd to October 31st, we at take a reflective journey back to the origins of this impactful movement. The Red Ribbon Campaign, heralded by the National Family Partnership (NFP), formerly known as the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, stands as the nation’s largest and longest-running drug-use prevention initiative.

Established in 1980, the NFP was born from a group of committed parents aiming to pioneer a change in the narrative of drug prevention. Fast forward to today, and the organization has flourished into a national bastion of drug prevention education and advocacy, leading efforts to foster drug-free youth nationwide.

Red Ribbon Week 2023 Theme: Be Kind To Your Mind. Live Drug Free.

The Inception of the Red Ribbon Movement

The essence of the Red Ribbon Campaign traces back to a somber event in 1985, deeply etched in the collective memory of communities nationwide. DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a valiant soldier in the war against drugs, met a tragic end in Mexico, tortured and eventually killed by drug traffickers.

His gruesome demise resonated across borders, igniting a spark of outrage and a desire for change among individuals, particularly parents and youth. Red ribbons adorned the chests of many as a tribute to Camarena’s unwavering spirit and to symbolize a collective stand against the menace of drugs. Related Resources

Family Addiction Guides

The Symbolism of the Red Ribbon

The red ribbon soon morphed into more than just a symbol. It was a catalyst, galvanizing communities to educate the youth and promote drug prevention activities.

The movement commemorated Agent Camarena’s sacrifice and his firm belief that one individual could make a significant difference. This belief coalesced communities, giving rise to new coalitions united against the destruction wreaked by drugs.

National Recognition and the Birth of Red Ribbon Week

The crescendo of collective action led to the first National Red Ribbon Celebration in 1988, sponsored by the NFP. This marked the inception of Red Ribbon Week, an annual observance from October 23rd to October 31st, dedicated to promoting a drug-free lifestyle among youth. The campaign’s objective is straightforward yet profound: to present a united front against drug abuse, thereby inching closer to a drug-free America.

The Ongoing Legacy

The ripple effects of the Red Ribbon Campaign have transcended through time, touching millions of lives globally. It’s more than a campaign; it’s a movement borne out of resilience, a legacy of collective responsibility, and a message of hope.

The National Family Partnership continues to play a pivotal role in this endeavor, providing resources, advocacy, and a platform for individuals and organizations to join forces in this noble cause.

Your Participation Counts

The Red Ribbon Campaign is as robust as the engagement it receives.

Each year, a national contest is held to select a new theme for the campaign, fostering creativity and inclusivity in the fight against drug abuse.

Participating in this contest or simply donning a red ribbon could symbolize your stand against drug abuse.

Red Ribbon Week 2023

As we usher in this year’s Red Ribbon Week (Oct 23-30), let’s reminisce about the valiant efforts of individuals like Enrique Camarena and the countless unnamed heroes who strive daily to make our communities safer.

The Red Ribbon Movement is a testament to the boundless potential of community action in the face of adversity.

It’s not merely a campaign but a beacon of hope and a call to action. Together, let’s continue to champion a drug-free existence, embody the spirit of the Red Ribbon Movement, and contribute to a healthier, safer society for all.

Embrace the essence of Red Ribbon Week by showcasing your commitment to a drug-free lifestyle. Visit Nimco, Inc., for Red Ribbon Merchandise to express your support, or participate in the National Red Ribbon Theme Contest to contribute to the continuity and impact of this vital campaign.

Together, we can echo the ethos of a drug-free America far and wide. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved.


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Chris Carberg is the Founder of Addiction HelpWritten by: Founder & Mental Health Advocate

Chris Carberg is the founder of, and a long-time recovering addict from prescription opioids, sedatives, and alcohol.  Over the past 15 years, Chris has worked as a tireless advocate for addicts and their loved ones while becoming a sought-after digital entrepreneur. Chris is a storyteller and aims to share his story with others in the hopes of helping them achieve their own recovery.