Communities, families encouraged to take part in National Red Ribbon Week

OSCEOLA COUNTY — This week is National Red Ribbon Week and all around town business’s are hanging red ribbons on their doors and on their car antennas to raise awareness on the dangers of underage drug use.

The National Family Partnership organized the first Nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign in 1985 and has since spread around the world touching millions of lives. The theme this year is “You Only Live Once: Be Drug Free.”

Enrique Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. When he decided to join the DEA, his mother tried to talk him out of it. Agent Camarena said “I’m just one person, but I want to make a difference.” On Feb 7, 1985, the 37-year-old Camarena left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Five men appeared at the agent’s side and shoved him in a car. One month later his body was found. He had been tortured to death.

In honor of Camarena’s memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, began forming coalitions and adopted the red ribbon symbol in Camarena’s honor.

Take the pledge and be a part of the creation of a drug free America.

“As parents and citizens, we will talk to our children and the children in our lives about the dangers of drug abuse,” said Kim Livingston, from the Mecosta Osceola Coalition to Reduce Underage Substance Abuse (MOCRUSA). “We will set clear rules for our children about not using drugs. We will set a good example for our children by not using illegal drugs or medicines without a prescription. We will monitor our children’s behavior and enforce appropriate consequences so that our rules are respected. We will encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse.”

For more information on the Red Ribbon Campaign and how you can help visit or contact Livingston at (231) 527-2000 or