Senator Cornyn

Cornyn, Whitehouse Resolution Recognizing Red Ribbon Week Passes Senate

November 2, 2023

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate passed a resolution from U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recognizing Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s largest and longest-running drug-use prevention campaign. Text is below, and you can view the full resolution here.

“Whereas the National Family Partnership started the Red Ribbon Campaign in 1988—

(1) to educate the people of the United States and encourage participation in drug prevention activities;

(2) to preserve the memory of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena (referred to in this preamble as “Special Agent Camarena”), a special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration who—

(A) served the Drug Enforcement Administration for 11 years; and

(B) was murdered in the line of duty in 1985, while engaged in the battle against illicit drugs;

(3) to commemorate the service of Special Agent Camarena to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the people of the United States; and

(4) to further the cause for which Special Agent Camarena gave his life;

Whereas the Red Ribbon Campaign is the longest-standing drug use prevention program in the United States, bringing drug awareness to millions of people in the United States each year;

Whereas Red Ribbon Week is celebrated every year during the period of October 23 through October 31 by—

(1) State Governors and attorneys general;

(2) the National Family Partnership;

(3) parent-teacher associations;

(4) Boys and Girls Clubs of America;

(5) the Young Marines;

(6) the Drug Enforcement Administration; and

(7) hundreds of other organizations throughout the United States;

Whereas the objective of Red Ribbon Week is to promote the creation of drug-free communities through drug use prevention efforts, education programs, parental involvement, and community-wide support through specific actions such as lighting up buildings and landmarks, and activities that engage the public;

Whereas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death in people in the United States between the ages of 18 to 45, outnumbering deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicide, or homicide;

Whereas nearly 110,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2022;

Whereas reducing the demand for illicit controlled substances would—

(1) curtail lethal addictions and overdoses; and

(2) reduce the violence associated with drug trafficking;

Whereas, although public awareness of illicit drug use is increasing, emerging drug threats and growing epidemics continue to demand attention;

Whereas the Drug Enforcement Administration hosts a National Take Back Day twice a year, on the last Saturdays of October and April, for the public to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs that can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, or misuse;

Whereas the National Family Partnership hosts Lock Your Meds, a multi-media campaign and program to encourage individuals, businesses, and communities to dispose of drugs appropriately and to reduce the demand for drugs;

Whereas Lock Your Meds is statewide in Idaho, North Carolina, and throughout the southeastern United States;

Whereas synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and the analogues of fentanyl devastated communities and families at an unprecedented rate, claiming more than 70,000 lives in 2022;

Whereas the presence of fentanyl and the analogues of fentanyl pose hazards to police officers and law enforcement agents;

Whereas 6 out of 10 fake prescription pills containing fentanyl tested at Drug Enforcement Administration laboratories contain a potentially deadly dose of fentanyl;

Whereas the Drug Enforcement Administration has created a special exhibit entitled “The Faces of Fentanyl” to commemorate the lives lost from fentanyl poisoning, and has received over 5,000 photos as of the date of enactment of this resolution;

Whereas the Drug Enforcement Administration seized more than 59,600,000 fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 13,000 pounds of fentanyl powder in 2022;

Whereas, nearly 6,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose involving heroin in 2022, a rate of nearly 2 deaths for every 100,000 people in the United States;

Whereas, from 2021 to 2022, drug overdose deaths involving cocaine increased by nearly 13 percent, with almost 28,000 people in the United States dying from such an overdose in 2022;

Whereas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,500,000 people in the United States aged 12 or older reported having used methamphetamine in 2020;

Whereas psychostimulants with abuse potential, such as methamphetamine, were involved in 1.2 times as many drug overdose deaths as cocaine; and

Whereas parents, young people, schools, businesses, law enforcement agencies, religious institutions and faith-based organizations, service organizations, senior citizens, medical and military personnel, sports teams, and individuals throughout the United States will demonstrate their commitment to healthy, productive, and drug-free lifestyles by wearing and displaying red ribbons during the week-long celebration of Red Ribbon Week; Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) supports the goals and ideals of Red Ribbon Week during the period of October 23 through October 31, 2023;

(2) encourages the people of the United States to wear and display red ribbons during Red Ribbon Week to symbolize their commitment to healthy, drug-free lifestyles;

(3) encourages the people of the United States to light up buildings and landmarks to send a drug-free message;

(4) encourages children, teens, and other individuals to choose to live drug-free lives; and

(5) encourages the people of the United States—

(A) to promote the creation of drug-free communities; and

(B) to participate in drug use prevention activities to show support for healthy, productive, and drug-free lifestyles.”