Awareness_Red_Ribbon_Heart_Each October, schools recognize the oldest and largest campaign designed to prevent young people from using drugs.  While the exact dates of the celebration vary each year, many people understand the importance of these days in a larger campaign to prevent substance abuse.

The week serves as a way for communities and people everywhere to take a stand against substance abuse and the destruction it brings to children, lives, homes, and communities.  Each person who participates in the celebration makes a personal commitment to stay free of substance abuse and work toward a drug-free United States.  The week also celebrates the life of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena who was killed by a Mexican drug cartel as he fought to keep drugs out of our country and protect our children.

The life and untimely death of Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena serves as the inspiration for the red ribbon campaign.  Agent Camarena was raised in a very poor home, but he dreamed of making a difference.  As he grew, he attended college, proudly served in the US Marine Corps, and served as a Police Officer.  He decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, a move which his family tried to talk him out of.  He told his mother, “I can’t not do this, I’m only one person, but I want to make a difference.”  He was sent to work in an undercover assignment in Mexico, investigating a dangerous and well-connected drug cartel.  On February 7, 1985, as Agent Camarena left his office to join his wife for lunch, five men forced him into a car.  His body was found a month later.

After the tragedy, friends and Congressman Duncan Hunter launched Camarena Clubs in California, where Camarena was raised.  Club members promised to lead drug-free lives as a way to honor Camarena and others who had died in the drug wars.  Club members also began wearing red satin ribbons as a way to memorialize him.

The Red Ribbon Week remains as one of Agent Camarena’s most important legacies, helping to preserve his memory and continue his work against illegal narcotics.

By wearing a red ribbon during the last week of October, people everywhere can show their support for an America free of the scourge of narcotics.  In many areas, the traditional red awareness ribbon is still worn at schools, businesses, and community events.

For others, wearing red ribbon pins is a way to celebrate red ribbon week throughout the year.  Awareness pins have been a popular way to show support for different causes for many years.  Many people enjoy wearing a pin because it is a very simple way to show support for an important cause.  On the other hand, some organizations choose to sell pins as a way to raise money for their campaigns, and some schools distribute red ribbon pins to faculty and students as a lasting way to show their commitment to a drug free world.  Awareness ribbon pins are instantly recognizable as standing for something important, and there are few things more important than protecting the future of our children by eliminating substance abuse. is a manufacturer of Custom Lapel Pins of the highest quality and offers free artwork with your order. For more information please call (888) 720-2115 or visit