Skip to Main Content

Tennessee Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Annual campaign aims to prevent drug use among youth
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 08:18am

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is joining schools across the state and nation to celebrate Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31.  The celebration is a time for youth, educators, parents, and communities to learn about the dangers of drug use and prevent addiction.

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.  “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.”

In Nashville, the State Capitol will be bathed in red light October 23-29 to spread awareness of Red Ribbon Week.

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.