Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week 2021

Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In response to the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America. In 1988, National Family Partnership (NFP) sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. 

Red Ribbon Week takes place each year from October 23 through 31. For assistance in planning events or activities, check out the national Red Ribbon Week Planning Guide.  For information on local events, please check with your school district. 

2021 Opioid Awareness Day

Over the last five years, schools have held showings of the “Chasing the Dragon” documentary. Developed by DEA and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), this powerful documentary shows the harmful, long-term effects of drug use on not just those who are addicted to opioids but also on their family, friends, and community. This year, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is excited to join the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI Little Rock Field Office, and Office of Arkansas Drug Director to launch a new local documentary created in partnership with Arkansas PBS.  This new documentary, 7 Days; the Opioid Crisis in Arkansas highlights the reality of drug use here in the Natural State and can assist you in bringing the critical conversation about drug use to the local level at your schools. Schools can choose which video they show, but we encourage you to participate in Opioid Awareness Day by hosting a viewing of either documentary as appropriate for your students.

On October 27, 2021 more than 180 schools and over 43,000 students took part in Arkansas Opioid Awareness day.  To date, approximately 85% of the schools in Arkansas have participated since the awareness campaign began in 2017.  The work done to educate our students has also reached beyond our borders garnering attention and participation from other states through collaboration with the DEA and FBI offices. This year ADE hosted a discussion panel of key partners in the fight against opioids, the recording of that panel can be viewed below.

Red Ribbon Week Resources

Arkansas ResourcesNational Resources
Virtual Activity SuggestionsRed Ribbon National Campaign
Alternative Education  Chasing the Dragon National Campaign
School-Based Health CentersOffice of National Drug Control Policy
Arkansas Dose of Reality DEA National Red Ribbon Rally Video
Arkansas Association of Alternative EducatorsDEA Red Ribbon Week Music Video
School-Based Health AllianceREACH Guidebook - Virtual
Arkansas School Counselors AssociationKid Safe Movie
AR Take Back Informed Families
Rise Above Alcohol & Drugs (RAAD)SAMHSA Materials for Schools
NARCANSAS Prescription Drug Safety Resource (free)
AR Connect  (PDF)Natural High Educators Video Playlist
Mental Health & Addiction Services in ArkansasNational Institute on Drug Abuse Lesson Plans
Arkansas Attorney General
KARK Opioid Special
2021 Opioid Awareness Day Resource Guide (PDF)
7 Days: The Opioid Crisis in Arkansas


Resources for Addiction, Recovery, and Support

URGENT ResourcesInformation and Research
ADHS Mental Health Hotline  1-844-763-0198AR Take Back
AR Connect (Mental Health & Substance Abuse) 1-800-482-9921UAMS Matriarc
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-talk (8255)UAMS Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Poison Control Center Hotline 24.7 1-800-222-1222AR Connect
Arkansas Regional Prevention Provide Directory (PDF)NARCANSAS
Arkansas Treatment Centers (PDF)Just Think Twice
Arkansas Recovery Resources (PDF)