Red Ribbon Week 2013

Although many of us know that Red Ribbon Week is recognized annually during the last week of October to raise awareness about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, you may not know the history behind it.  It all started with one man, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.  Kiki joined the Marine Corps after high school.  After his discharge, he worked as a fireman, police officer, and narcotics investigator.  Kiki’s devotion to keeping drugs off the streets and out of schools led him to join the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).  Kiki was assigned to the DEA office in Mexico and his mission was to stop the drug trade from crossing the borders into the US.

Kiki took down many traffickers and became dangerously close to taking down the top leaders in a multi-million dollar drug pipeline.  Then, on February 7, 1985, Special Agent Enrique Camarena left the American Consulate in Mexico and was kidnapped in broad daylight.  He was brutally tortured and murdered.  His family, friends, and country mourned the loss of a hero.

After his death, the public wanted to do something to honor Kiki and the sacrifice he made.  A club was started in his hometown of Calexico, California.  Members pledged to lead drug-free lives and wore red ribbons to honor those who had lost their lives in the war against drugs.  The red ribbon momentum spread across the state and the country. It gained the recognition of former President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan who became the honorary chairpersons in 1988.  Red Ribbon Week has since been celebrated in schools across the US.

So, next time you wonder if one person can make a difference, think about Kiki and the impact his legacy has made.  Wear your red ribbon with pride and share Kiki’s story to raise awareness and promote healthy decisions.

Prescription and Over The Counter Drug Abuse and Prevention

Join the FLVS Counselors and HOPE team on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 6:00PM  ET as we recognize Red Ribbon Week.  Graduate students from the University of Florida College of Pharmacy will share about the dangers of prescription and over the counter drug abuse.  Prescription drug abuse is a rising issue in today’s society.  As a result,  unintentional drug overdoses, the majority of which are due to prescription drugs, are now the second leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.  Join us and learn how you can help prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription medication at


Amy LaGrastaAmy LaGrasta, Flex School Counseling Senior Manager, helps students make informed decisions about courses, career and college options, and the study habits needed for online success. Prior to joining FLVS, she served as the guidance director at Estero High School in Lee County, FL where she was honored with the Teacher of Distinction award.

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