Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and biggest drug prevention awareness program. Red Ribbon Week commenced after the death of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who in 1985 was cruelly murdered by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico. Following his death, people began wearing red ribbons to honor Kiki’s sacrifice. […]

Join We Level Up rehab centers in Celebrating Red Ribbon Week.

Oct 23rd -31st

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and biggest drug prevention awareness program.

Red Ribbon Week commenced after the death of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who in 1985 was cruelly murdered by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico.

Following his death, people began wearing red ribbons to honor Kiki’s sacrifice.  Now, millions of people observe Red Ribbon Week by wearing red ribbons, engaging in community anti-drug events, and pledging to live drug-free lives.  The National Family Partnership created national Red Ribbon Week in 1988.  NFP continues to organize the campaign for families, schools, and communities across the nation each year.  [1]

In many areas, the celebration has turned into a variation of activities implemented during October.  These activities show the importance of making healthy and wise decisions throughout life to achieve your dreams and goals.

As the longest-lasting and most widespread drug awareness program, Red Ribbon Week unites children and adults in an evident stand against drug use.  The purpose is to keep children drug-free, first and foremost, and declare a commitment to abstain from drug use. announced the 2021 National Red Ribbon Week Theme, "Drug Free Looks Like Me". announced the 2021 National Red Ribbon Week Theme, “Drug-Free Looks Like Me”.

Wearing a red ribbon signifies the commitment to live drug-free and honors those who sacrificed their lives combating drugs and drug use. As the backbone of Red Ribbon Week, the National Family Partnership promotes awareness, acts as an advocate, and provides resources to those in need.

Addressing Illicit Drug Challenges

“Reflecting on Red Ribbon Week, We Level Up is keenly aware of how challenging the battle against illicit drug use is. Addressing the drug crisis requires organizations that deliver quality care.” – Ryan Zofay, Founder of the We Level Up series.

The inflictions from drug abuse, drug trafficking, and associated violence do not stop at national borders.  Thus, the balanced approach focuses on public health, particularly the need to utilize advances in preventing and treating drug abuse and reforming criminal justice policies to reflect today’s challenges.

The manufacturers of these substances have presented an ability to modify their chemical composition to skirt existing drug laws.  As a result, putting them on the market quicker than domestic legislation or international control measures can impose restrictions on them.  To counter this, the U.S. and partners worldwide are increasing international institutions that pursue the trading of these drugs and provide warnings so countries can assemble their public health and law enforcement agencies to counter the problem.

Facing the challenges posed by illegal drugs needs partnerships by various participants:  NGOs, the education sector, public health institutions, law enforcement agencies, and local associations.  These partnerships are meant to limit the harmful consequences of international narcotics trafficking.  [2]

Drug Prevention And Treatment

The overwhelming outgrowths of drug use know no geographic, economic, social, or ethnic borders.  Each year hundreds of thousands of people around the globe – wealthy, poor, professional, illiterate, educated, male, female, and even adolescent and young kids – die from substance use disorders, and many are victims of drug-fueled violence.  Beyond the damages drugs take on health and welfare, substance use disorders threaten economic development, depreciate social and political stability, and reduce security in countries and regions worldwide.

Resolutions include drug prevention and drug treatment services that have had an enormous impact and saved countless lives.

The elimination of prohibited crops continues as a crucial tool for decreasing the reproduction of illicit drugs and preventing them from entering the U.S. or other drug markets.  [3]

Drug interdiction or stopping illicit drugs from reaching their destination is vital in stemming the flow of illegal narcotics and countering the adverse effects of organized criminal groups.

How To Avoid Drug Use

No matter your past or current circumstances, it is possible to avoid slipping into the dangers of addiction.  The keys lie in keeping yourself happy and healthy while you are drug-free.

Explore new ways to handle stress and overwhelming emotion:  Drugs and alcohol are one way to escape the difficulties;  intoxication provides a stupor that pushes them out of view.  Though running away from our feelings seems OK, we cannot flee from them forever; they will always return after the intoxication disappears.  We need to improve ways to release and process our feelings in a way that works.

  •  Build A Lifestyle That Brings You Joy And Comfort:  Re-orient yourself; if you find yourself concentrating on shame, self-loathing, hatred of those around you, or hatred of your circumstances, do whatever it takes to shift that focus.  Be conscious that thoughts are thoughts and that they can be stopped and reconstructed.  Endeavor to find your strengths and good qualities.  Possibly you are funny, and your friends appreciate you for that.  Maybe you are intelligent, resourceful, supportive, and loving.  We don’t know your strengths, but you do!  Focus on them, bring them out, and let them glow over what you see as your flaws.  With time, maybe those shortcomings that seem so awful to you today will fade away, and you won’t even remember them.
  • Seek Therapy:  Sometimes, it isn’t easy to do so without supportive and qualified help, and therefore we thoroughly advise you to seek therapy.  A proficient therapist will help you work through your traumas and current mental illnesses so that you can slacken the grip they hold on you.  There is no shame in getting psychological treatment;  you may be astonished to find that many of your peers have done so too.  It does not indicate that you are ‘crazy’ or ‘broken’;  it means empowering yourself to be a healthier person.
Red Ribbon Week encourages everyone to seek professional help to battle addiction.
Red Ribbon Week encourages everyone to seek professional help to battle addiction. Do you or someone you care about need assistance? Talk to our counselors about what treatment options are available out there.

Risk Factors To Substance Abuse

Risk factors can affect drug abuse in several ways.  The more risks a child is exposed to, the more apparent the child will abuse drugs.  Some risk factors may be more compelling than others at certain stages in development, such as peer pressure during the teenage years, just as some protective factors, such as a strong parent-child bond, can significantly diminish risks during the early years.  An essential goal of prevention is to change the balance between risk and protective factors so that protective factors outrun risk factors.

Risk and protective factors can influence children at different stages of their lives.  At each stage, risks happen that can be changed through prevention intervention.  For instance, early childhood risks, such as destructive behavior, can be altered or prevented with family, school, and community interventions that center on helping children develop proper positive behaviors. Conversely, if not addressed, negative behaviors can lead to more risks, such as academic failure and social difficulties, putting children at additional risk for later drug abuse.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the table below represents how risk and protective factors affect people in five domains or settings where interventions can happen.  [4]

Risk Factors

  • Early Aggressive Behavior
  • Lack of Parental Supervision
  • Substance Abuse
  • Drug Availability
  • Poverty


  • Individual
  • Family
  • Peer
  • School
  • Community

Protective Factors

  • Self-Control
  • Parental Monitoring
  • Academic Competence
  • Anti-Drug Use Policies
  • Strong Neighborhood Attachment

Join The Red Ribbon Week’s Fight Against Substance Abuse

At We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center, we instill hope in our clients and help addicts get passionate about life in sobriety.  Our detox and rehabilitation professionals and care staff understand the struggles that co-occur with addiction and the issues that devise the need for drug use.  We are here to help you get to the root of where the addiction began and can work with you to establish a new foundation of sobriety.

For inpatient or outpatient detox and rehabilitation options, contact We Level Up today.  We are here for you.

 About We Level Up Treatment Centers

Red Ribbon Week Celebration
We Level Up Addiction Treatment joins the Red Ribbon Week to fight substance abuse.

We Level Up is a renowned treatment center that applies evidence-based treatment modalities and holistic programs to improve client recovery outcomes—combining traditional elements of SUD treatment, including supervised medical recovery coupled with intensive behavioral rehab.

Offering cutting-edge advanced therapies, We Level Up is an accredited dual diagnosis mental health care provider.  Fully integrating co-occurring conditions into our programs.  Most importantly, our top-notch doctors, therapists, and counselors leverage the power of science to help clients succeed in rehab recovery.

We provide best-in-class treatment in multiple locations, with amenities and activities designed to reinforce recovery success metrics.  In addition, each client receives lifetime alumni support post inpatient treatment along with family resources to help maintain recovery momentum, even once they depart our treatment facilities.

Above all, our vision is to help create legions of self-empowered individuals who are entirely in control of their lives and destinies, enabling them to get what they desire from this life, experiencing it to their fullest, most liberating potential. 

Through these hosts of self-empowered and self-aware individuals, we will see families that communicate with more love, trust, and caring for one another, businesses that thrive in ways never thought possible, and friendships that reach new heights.

Who Is Ryan Zofay?

In 2019 he founded the Level Up Development Series.  Level Up is a unique development program that provides attendees with the tools and knowledge to eliminate limiting thoughts from their lives and to reach their full potential.  As Ryan Zofay explains in his February 2020 Sober Nation podcast interview, he invests in the people who he hires because with a strong team, together, they can make a difference.

Ryan Zofay is most passionate about sharing his practical lessons that change lives.  As a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker, he teaches development strategies that improve performance, connection, and overall mindset.

Using the teachings of his successes and tribulations, Ryan has a unique ability to facilitate significant change for individuals and organizations.  In addition, Ryan’s passion and enthusiasm readily spill over to his listeners.

Moreover, his life accounts, incredible comeback journies, along with the wisdom he developed, help formulate instructions on how to realize your goals.  Visit the Ryan Zofay Events page for further details.

If you consider addiction treatment for you or someone you love, We Level Up can help.  Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a confidential consultation with a member of our intake team and more information regarding Red Ribbon Week.


[1] RED RIBBON WEEK OCT. 23-31 – Drug Enforcement Administration

[2] Addressing Illicit Drug Challenges – U.S. Department of State

[3] Eradication and Interdiction – U.S. Department of State

[4] What are risk factors and protective factors? – National Institute On Drug Abuse