As the largest and oldest drug prevention campaign in the United States, Red Ribbon Week provides an ideal opportunity to focus on the dangers of drug abuse. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) supports Red Ribbon Week, October 23rd – 31st, because drug-impaired drivers can be as deadly as drunk drivers can.
Throughout the week, CHP officers will be participating in various Red Ribbon Week events statewide. Many of these events will be held at schools, providing officers the opportunity to share their experiences with students on how drugs can destroy a person’s life.
“Drugged driving is a public health concern that puts not only the driver at risk, but also passengers and others who share the road,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among young people. When their lack of experience is combined with marijuana or any other drug – legal or illegal – the results can be tragic.”
The Red Ribbon Campaign is sponsored by the National Family Partnership, which encourages everyone to display a red ribbon throughout October to help promote drug-free communities and homes. The 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.
Today, the red ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Since its inception, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.