Red Ribbon Week

cover of the 2022 Red Ribbon Week Planning Guide showing a red balloon with the words Celebrate Life Live Drug Free

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 2022

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 and our 2022 state resource guide! For information on local events, please check with your school district.

Red Ribbon Week: October 23–31, 2022 - District Registration Form

Coordinated Watch Party: October 26, 2022 - Plan to watch 7 Days or Chasing the Dragon!

Drug Take Back Day: October 29, 2022 - Learn more about Take Back Arkansas

Documentary Resources

7 Days: The Opioid Crisis in Arkansas

Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict

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. In 2021, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) was 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. This documentary is currently in the running for a regional EMMY award in two categories! 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. In 2021, ADE hosted a discussion panel of key partners in the fight against opioids, and you can watch the recording on YouTube.

Red Ribbon Week Resources

Resources for Addiction, Recovery, and Support

Urgent Resources