Recent Op-Eds

In 1988, the “Red Ribbon Week” was formally recognized by President and Mrs. Reagan as a time for schools and communities across the country to raise awareness about drug prevention. This year’s celebration has been designated to take place during the week of October 22nd-30th, and I am pleased to have signed on to a Senate resolution pledging my support to the ideals and values the Red Ribbon Week endorses and promotes.

The celebration originally started to commemorate the life of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Kiki was a California narcotics investigator who was on the brink of a major drug bust when he was kidnapped and killed in 1985. His legacy continues today through each ribbon worn over the course of this week in conjunction with events to raise awareness about drug prevention.

The pressures during adolescent years are enormous and the prevalence of alcohol and illegal drugs is a worry for many parents. A key weapon in this campaign, however, is awareness. Through the Red Ribbon Week, educators, parents, and law enforcement officials work to raise awareness amongst the youth in our communities of the dangers of drug use and ways they can combat the pressure.

Illicit drug use has steadily been on the rise among middle school and high school age groups over the past couple of years. By creating a greater awareness among our youth of the disastrous consequences of drug use, we can all work to combat this dangerous trend.

It is my hope that parents, teachers, and educators across South Dakota will all commit to educating our students about the hazards of drugs in order to ensure that their futures are healthy and substance-free.