Senate Passes Murkowski Resolution that Recognizes Long Standing Drug Abuse Prevention Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate has passed a resolution, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that commemorates the Annual Red Ribbon Campaign, the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of youth through Red Ribbon Week events.

Murkowski’s resolution, recognizing October 17-25, 2009, as Red Ribbon Week, passed the Senate this week by unanimous consent.

Red Ribbon Week is a national, week-long event commemorating the life of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique Camarena, who was killed in Mexico in the line of duty in 1985. Shortly after his death, his friends launched “Camarena Clubs” in his hometown of Calexico, California. In his honor, club members wore red ribbons and pledged to live drug-free lives. The campaign quickly gained national prominence and in 1988 Congress proclaimed the first National Red Ribbon Week.

“Red Ribbon Week memorializes Agent Camarena, and all those who have lost their lives in the war on drugs, by educating young people about the dangers of drug abuse, promoting drug-free activities and supporting everyone who has stood strong against illicit drugs,” said Murkowski. “The Red Ribbon that we will wear during Red Ribbon Week is a symbol of zero tolerance for illegal drug use and our commitment to help people, especially children, make the right life-decisions.”

In Alaska, a number of Red Ribbon Week events will take place beginning on October 19, to encourage healthy life choices and engage others to support a drug-free community.

On Monday, October 19, a presentation will be held during the AFN Youth and Elders conference with speakers addressing the effects of substance abuse on Alaska’s youth & communities.

In addition to the AFN, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce will highlight the importance of Red Ribbon week during it’s ‘Make it Monday’ forum. At the forum, the Anchorage chamber will highlight the toll substance abuse takes on Alaskans.

Also on Monday, Abbot Loop Elementary students will gather for an assembly to learn about the meaning and purpose of Red Ribbon Week. The National Guard will be on hand to lead Abbot Loop students in activities.