PALMDALE – Red Ribbon Week, which runs from Oct. 23-31, is a national campaign that creates awareness about the dangers of drugs and encourages young people to commit to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
The Antelope Valley area office of the California Highway Patrol will be promoting Red Ribbon Week at the Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale this Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
CHP officers will conduct different interactive activities that address the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Activities will include “DUI-simulated goggles” to give a perspective on how vision is impaired when drunk. After donning the goggles, participants must attempt to walk a straight line or navigate through orange cones, which represent people.
Traffic safety materials also will be distributed at the local Red Ribbon Week event.
The Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of young people each year.
“Consequences that result from the choices made during our youth can follow us for the rest of our lives,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow in a press release. “We encourage children and young adults to make smart decisions, which include living a drug-free life.”
The Red Ribbon Campaign was initiated in 1985, following the brutal murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico. Camarena, who had been a police officer in southern California prior to becoming an agent in 1974, joined the DEA because he wanted to make a difference in the fight against drugs.
Shortly after his death, friends and family members wore red satin ribbons in Camarena’s memory, and “Camarena Clubs” were launched in California high schools. Club members pledged to lead lives free from drug abuse to honor the sacrifices Camarena and others have made on behalf of all Americans.
The campaign caught on throughout the nation, and in 1988 a presidential proclamation designated the last week of October as National Red Ribbon Week.