Practice English Speaking&Listening with: DEA National Red Ribbon Rally (October 7, 2019)

Difficulty: 0

-911, what is your emergency?

-If I take my opioids exactly as prescribed,

I won't become dependent.

That's what they told me.

No one told me my own mother

would find me on the bathroom floor

at 3:00 in the morning.

My skin ice cold. What have I done?

She won't see her only son graduate,

get married, have a family.

Who will be there to watch over my little sister?

Who will walk her to school,

meet the first boy she brings home?

I thought I could control it. I thought I was invincible.

I'm not a thief, but I stole from strangers, my friends.

I stole my grandmother's wedding ring.

Now I'm dying on my bathroom floor.

I thought I could control it.

My mother crying over my limp body,

screaming for my father to do something,

waiting for an ambulance.

[ Siren wailing ]

I want to take it all back.

I thought I could control it.

[ Siren wailing ]

I thought I could control it.

-Tina Nucca, a natural-born volleyball player,

started varsity as a freshman and a starter hitter.

A hard worker, athletic and smart.

One of the best on our teams.

But as her anxiety and stress became worse,

she turned to opioids until the day she made her fatal mistake.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Every time she took another dose,

she progressively got worse and worse until she got too weak.

The opioids deteriorated her body,

making her sleeping, less coordinated,

and slowed her breathing.

Tina was one of 47,000 people to overdose from opioids in 2017.

Don't take the fall for opioids.

Take the stand against them.

-After my brother died when I was 15,

it was the first time I ever tried an opioid.

Before my brother's death, I was just a normal kid.

I liked video games. I played sports.

Going through the grief of my brother's death,

he told me that if I were to take this drug,

I wouldn't have to feel anything anymore.

When I took it, I felt numb.

Any problem I had just kind of went away.

My addiction got worse. I stole more.

I hurt more people. I burned all the bridges.

I ruined all the relationships I had.

I had no one.

I wasn't even getting high at this point.

I was just not being sick anymore.

It would cost me probably around $300 a day.

The mental addiction to this takes over your mind.

I thought I had no choice.

I just needed to do what I needed to do to feel okay.

And so that was the first time I tried heroin.

There is no going back after that.

I ended up overdosing, almost dying

only a few feet from where my brother was found dead.

It took four shots of NARCAN to bring me back.

-Addiction is a chronic relapsing disease.

It hijacks the brain.

What we really need to do is come together

and stop this epidemic killing thousands every year.

-I was going to be an artist.

I knew this since I was little,

scribbling waxy rainbows with crayons.

I knew this when I was older,

painting in crisp strokes late into the night.

I knew who I wanted to become.

And then, I made the decision.

It was just a few pills at first --

my friend's prescription painkillers.

Then came the spiral.

The constant need for just one more pill, just one more.

I didn't know anymore.

I didn't know who I wanted to become.

The simple things that had given my life color just didn't.

My friends didn't want to be around me.

My dreams were gone,

faster than any eraser could erase.

I should have gotten help,

but I didn't get help.

Don't make my mistake.

-"This is my worst nightmare," was what I thought.

"They're just pills.

The doctor prescribed them"...

is what I thought.

[ Breathing heavily ]

It worked before.

"It will work again," was what I thought.

"It's my only option," was what I thought.

Two more.

I can risk it.

Six more.

I need it.

I know they won't understand.

It's fine.

"I have it under control..." I thought.

[ Monitor beeping ]

"I can't move my body..." I thought.

[ Flatline ]

Think again.

Get some help.

-I'm not here to make you happy.

I'm not here to make you sad.

I'm not here to inform you, to tell you what to do,

to tell you that you shouldn't have tried it

in the first place.

That I know it's an addiction and that I know it's hard

and that we can get help together.

I'm not here to speak from experience

because I know you won't listen..

because you're addicted to opioids.

I'm not here to tell you what I know is the eventual outcome.

Instead, I'm just here to show you what will happen

because I can't be there to tell you

because I've gone down the same path before.

-Last year there were 47,000 deaths from opioid addiction.

The average high school has 750 students.

This means that last year alone,

64 high schools completely vanished, gone forever.

Your crowded halls, completely empty.

Your friends you hung out with and saw at school are all gone.

All that was left are the empty pill bottles

and the memories of the ones who used to use.

Stop the epidemic today.

Seek help now.

-I want to be an astronaut. I want to go to Mars,

and I want to choreograph a ballet on Mars

and I'm gonna have a dancer do the dance on Mars.

I want to be the first girl president of the United States.

I want to dye my hair purple.

And I'm gonna have all the aliens on Mars...

I want to ban homework.

Look, I already have some of it done.

I want to play the flute. I want to be on TV.

I want a baby sister.

Then they're going to jump in the air,

and they're going to float because, like, it's space.

I want a puppy.

And when I'm in high school, because I'll try anything once.

It would be a great story.

I'd only do it, like, once or twice.

I'm going to try opioids.

I'm going to like it a lot.

So forget the once or twice thing.

I'll do it more.

Then I'm going to get addicted

to the point where I can't even think about breaking it.

I'm going to go to the hospital for an overdose,

but I'll make it out okay.

That's not going to teach me anything.

I'm going to get back into it.

And as soon as I get out of the hospital,

I'm going to overdose again.

That time, I'm going to end up dying.

And I want to have my gravestone on Mars.

-My life has been amazing.

I got my first car, met a girl,

graduated high school, top of my class.

Then I went to my dream college

on a full-ride athletic scholarship,

graduated with a bachelor's degree.

And remember the girl? She became my wife.

And then some years passed. Quite a few years.

Then my wife and I built a house and had two beautiful children.

Then I got my first big promotion.

Life went on.

I raised kids.

And before I knew it, they were as old as I was.

In my old age, I thought a lot about the legacy I would leave

as I looked at my grandkids playing with the widest smiles

on their faces.

My life had its ups and downs.

That's just life.

A life I never got to live.

A legacy I never got to fulfill

because I died of an opioid addiction.

Now my legacy is just a bottle.

-Here's a couple tips on how to live your best life.

Popping pharmaceuticals don't make the answer right

91% of us don't need a shot for a good night

Understand the risks of alcohol so you remain alright

Not everyone is drinking so get your facts straight

Your GPA will lower every single drink you take

A Mary Jane violation is a problem, no cap

Even if it is legal, you can't Wildcat

Leads to trauma like a maximum heart rate

Munchies is a real thing

Can increase your bod weight

Can lessen your ambition

Which helps you reach your goals

Your memory and learning and we don't wanna slow

Opioid misuse has become an epidemic

Misuse, addiction, overdose... Get it? ♪

If it's not prescribed to you

Then you probably shouldn't take

If it is, follow dosage so you can stay safe

See your friends slippin'? You should intervene

Take time for yourself, plus there's free counseling

We already get gray skies as it is

Why add depression and anxiety for kicks? ♪

Affects your ability to concentrate in class

Which isn't what you want because we're all here to pass

If you pass, then you graduate

Tassel from the right

These are just a few tips on how to live your best life

-Awareness, the state or condition of being aware,

having knowledge, consciousness.

We are not aware.

We sit here thinking everything is all right,

but really are going through something that no one expected.

When you ask me who the real killer is,

I don't say this or that,

I don't say it's a conventional drug deal.

No. I say it's the one you trust to help you get back.

Only to find out that's the one who stabbed you in the back.


It's the real killer.

Putting over 21,000 Americans in a restless sleep in 2015.

If we only had a time machine to do undo all of this mess

to get back the loved ones lost to live the life unfulfilled.

If only we were aware.

That's opioid who dim our consciousness.

It's opioids that kill the knowledge.

So let's wake up before it's too late,

before this crisis turns into something much more dangerous.

Let us regain awareness.







-Davis was the type of person

who could make you smile just from walking in the room.

He was hard not to love.

He was a brother, a son, a friend,

a senior class president,

and a Dean's list college student.

Like so many other people in this world,

my brother struggled with the disease of addiction.

It all started when my brother couldn't sleep at night,

so he went to the family medicine cabinet

and found leftover prescription opioids.

Opioid overdose is now the number-one cause

of accidental death in the U.S.

On March 4, 2014, my brother died of a fatal heroin overdose.

On March 6th, I brought my brother home in this green urn

that matched the color of his eyes.

I can talk to him, but he doesn't respond.

I can hold him, but he doesn't hold me back.

-I told you, it's some type of painkiller.

The doctors gave it to my mom

after she got out of the hospital.

I heard you can actually get high off of these.

And the more you take, the higher you get.

I'll bring some over to your crib later today.

We can try them together.

Don't do it, say no

Opioids ain't the way to go

Don't do it, say no

Opioids ain't the way to go

Prescription or nonprescription

It's all a very bad decision

It can easily become addictive

That's why we must prevent it

Oxycodone, morphine, heroin, codeine

Overuse and abuse can take your life

So please do us right

Don't do it, say no

Opioids ain't the way to go

Don't do it, say no

Opioids ain't the way to go

-Please help us stop this opioid epidemic and save the youth.

[ Alarm clock beeping ]

[ Beeping stops ]

-I'll never understand how this could have happened.

How it was so easy...

♪♪ I didn't see it...



...and how it could have left me so alone.



-Things that we romanticize --


the smell of coffee and books,

the night sky,

starting a home and a family,


You heard me.

I'm talking prescription opioid and heroin misuse.

Between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids

and 33,000 plus people are dead because of it.

Is this a number that we should romanticize?

Let's stop romanticizing drugs

so that people don't have to miss out

on all the truly wonderful things this life holds for us.

Let's end prescription opioid and heroin misuse.

Operation Prevention.

-I'm only supposed to take one.

But your leg hurts.

And the doctor prescribed it to you.

It's just one more.





[ Breathing heavily ]

[ Cash register dings ]



[ Gulps ]

[ Sighs ]

[ Pills clatter ]

-Why would anyone in their right mind abuse drugs?

Like, seriously, think about it for a sec.

Painkillers such as opioids are meant to be taken

as a prescription drug,

not to be chowed down like candy.

So why is it that almost 15 million people indicated

misusing painkillers in 2014

when it's clear as day that doing so could kill you?

That just doesn't make any sense.

In fact, nearly one in five teens say

they've abused prescription medicine at least once

in order to get high.

To get high? Are you kidding me?

This isn't some music video glorifying drugs

or some show you see on TV.

This is real life, and you only get one of them.

One life where you can be anything --

a basketball player, a lumberjack, the President.

You want to know what you can be if you misuse opioids?

[ Church bell tolls ]


No temporary high is worth risking your life forever.

-Come on, Carter.

-Life is a collection of memories.

-I got it. I got it. I got it.

-Over time, being together and having fun builds up

to the thing that you cherish the most...

-Okay. Good shot.

-...relationships with family and friends.

But using opioids distracts you.

-I got to go.

-Where you going?

They pull you away from what's important.


They dictate your actions.

What is this? -Don't worry about, bro.

-Without even knowing,

they sneak up behind you until the last pin drops.

Don't let your life get swallowed up

by an opioid addiction.

Get help.

-Lights, camera, action.

You are the producer of the movie of your life.

You can direct this movie and ensure it becomes a blockbuster

by writing a good script as you make good choices. reports using abusable substances at this age

can disrupt brain-function scenarios critical

in motivation, memory, learning, judgment and behavior control.

Your tale is just now commencing.

By making the correct choices

and steering away from opioid abuse,

you will be able to continue creating

the blockbuster film that is your life.

There are so many friendships to be made,

memories to be had

and adventures waiting for you.

How will you direct the story of your life?

-Lucas and Liam are twins.

They share similar interests in games, sports, and music.

[ Saxophones playing ]

They're in the 12th grade.


They lived fairly similar and healthy lives until one night.


The effects of opioids began to take place

shortly after Liam's decision to take them.

Come time for prom,

Liam's girlfriend had broken up with him.

-I feel like you're hiding something.

You have been acting so weird.

-Within months after Liam's choice in taking opioids,

the twins' lives had become drastically different.


[ Heart beating ]

-No, I'm good.

-Make the right choice.

-Hey, good morning again.

For those of you who weren't here

when I first introduced myself, I'm Rich Lucy.

I am a senior prevention program manager here

at the DEA

and our community outreach and prevention support section.

Hope you've enjoyed watching some of the PSAs

that were produced by youth from across the nation

as part of our Operation Prevention Initiative

with Discovery Education.

And we'll have some more to show you after the panel.

But at this time, I'd like to ask our three panelists

to come up and join me.

I'll introduce you to them and then we'll get into our Q&A.


While they sit and get comfortable on these nice stools

that we have, let me introduce you to our three panelists.

First, William Payne.

Will is a 17-year-old senior

at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia.

He is known as a passionate anti-drug

and anti-alcohol leader

at McLean High School and in the community.

Next year, Will plans to embark

on a two-year church service mission and will return

to study psychology at Brigham Young University.

In his spare time --

Do you have spare time as a high school student?

Mom and Dad, does he have --

He works at a local pizza parlor,

he does lawn and landscaping work, and he plays basketball.

Will also enjoys coaching youth basketball

and is an eagle scout.

Ladies and gentlemen, Will Payne.

[ Applause ]

Next is September Johnson.

Now, September and I go back a few years.

She was an intern of mine in my previous federal agency

at the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention,

which is part of the

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.

September is now an intern for us here at DEA

in our section.

So let me tell you a little bit about September.

She is a masters in public health candidate

at the Boston University School of Public Health.

She earned her bachelors degree in public health

from the University at Albany.

She has a background in project management

and has over three years of experience

as a public health professional

in a variety of fields and settings.

At the University at Albany, September was a peer educator

with the nationally recognized

Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program

and helped develop

the university's collegiate recovery program.

September also has served

as alcohol and other drug graduate assistant

at Wellesley College.

She hopes to continue her career

in substance abuse prevention following graduation.

Ladies and gentlemen, September Johnson.

[ Applause ]

And to my immediate left is Sharona Robinson.

And let me tell you a little bit about Sharona.

Sharona is a native Washingtonian

who grew up in wards 7 and 8.

She is a ward 7 resident,

a mother of two Ballou graduates,

classes of 2015 and 2019,

and two students who attend Ballou High School in ward 8.

Sharona currently serves as the PTSA president

at Ballou High School

and has served on a variety of education committees,

including the Chancellor's Parent Cabinet

and the D.C. Advisory Committee on Student Assignment.

She believes that all children deserve a quality education

no matter where they live.

And in her role as a community action team coordinator

in the D.C. public schools communications

and engagement office,

Sharona's goal is to engage more families

and community stakeholders east of the Anacostia River.

Ladies and gentlemen, Sharona Robinson.

[ Applause ]

So the first question is going to be for all three to answer.

Let me tell you a little bit about why we put

this particular panel together, how we decided upon it.

DEA, in our section,

has three public-facing websites --, which is our website for teens;, which is our website

for parents, educators and caregivers;

and our newest website -- it's now two years-plus old --


which is our website for professionals

who are working to prevent drug abuse among college students.

Since these are three of our primary stakeholders

in the work that we do --

teens, college students, and parents and educators --

we thought we would pull together

a representative from each of these groups to come up

and talk a little bit about the importance

of Red Ribbon Week

and the importance of drug-abuse prevention

from their perspectives,

both in high schools and in college settings

as well as being a parent and a community member.

So, I'm going to start with Sharona.

And first is more or less

a fill-in-the-blank type of question.

Sharona, talk a little bit about why Red Ribbon Week is important

for parents and community members.

-Good morning, again, everyone.

Red Ribbon Week is very important

because of the education aspect of it.

As we saw all of the PSAs,

we just have a lot of youth who are dying.

And when you think about why, it's because they don't know,

you know, what it is they're putting in their bodies.

They see friends thinking, you know, it's fun, that it's okay.

But I feel like that education piece of it all

is what's missing.

And this week, it really should be every day of the year,

but this week is extremely important because of that.

-Thank you for mentioning that.

You'll hear that as a reoccurring theme throughout,

is that while Red Ribbon Week is a specific eight days

dedicated at the end of October, the 23rd through the 31st,

Sharona has said we really should be talking about

the importance of Red Ribbon Week and drug-abuse prevention

all year long

and that's something that we certainly promote.

So, Sharona, thank you for bringing that up.

Will, how about for you from a high school perspective?

-I really enjoy the chance that it gives people

to talk about this kind of thing

because it's not something we would often talk about

as high school students.

No one is worried about it.

No one is thinking about it

'cause, you know, we're young and we all --

As we see in the videos 100 times,

we all think we have some kind of invincibility

just because we're young.

So this week, especially for me and hopefully I can --

there's going to be other kids who are doing the same thing,

this gives us a chance to bring it up

and to actually do some work in our schools to fight the idea

that this isn't an issue because it is.

You know, once you have the statistics

but also just like what we just watched,

things that actually, you know, the visuals,

you can really do some work in trying to prevent the danger

that this really does entail.

-So the take-away I just heard you say is

it really gives us the opportunity

to talk about this issue.

It gets it out in the open.

We'll talk about stigma and those issues a little bit later,

but thank you for mentioning that

because this is an ideal opportunity for us to talk about

the importance of this issue.

So, September, college students.

-Yeah. I'm actually going to echo Sharona.

Education, this is a great week to really do targeted prevention

with college students and really talk about the resources

and the information available on campus

and in your communities that college students can use

to make healthy decisions regarding their lives.

And it's a great opportunity to look back at the prevention work

you've been doing all year and celebrate that work

because it's really great work.

And think about your prevention efforts moving forward, too.

-So I'm going to -- Keep the mic

because I'm going to start the targeted questions

with September.

And so my entire career has been in drug-abuse prevention

targeting specifically college students

and preventing alcohol and drug abuse among that population.

And I've heard time and time again,

by the time they're in college, it's too late. Right?

That we need to get to them in middle school and high school,

which of course we do.

But we know that that's not true.

Certainly you can prevent drug abuse among this population,

but, September, I want to ask you from your experience

both as an undergrad student, you've been in peer education,

now you're a grad student,

what are some of the challenges that college campuses

are facing around drug-abuse prevention?

-For sure.

So there are two that really pop out to me.

The first is time.

Prevention work takes time and there's a lot to be done.

And as students, we know

that campus professionals are really busy.

We totally understand that. You have a lot going on.

And as students, we have a lot going on, too.

We have classes, homework, internships, applying to jobs,

we're trying to practice self care throughout all of that

as well, so those are two really busy schedules.

Hopefully in your prevention work, you're working

with students as well

to make that really effective prevention work happen.

So, you're dealing with two really busy schedules

right there.

But it's really important to take that time and carve it out

so that your students are being continuously trained

in prevention and all of the updated statistics

and everything so that they can go out

and disperse that information to their fellow students as well.

The other thing that comes to mind

is when it comes to health information

and trying to find the answer to something,

our immediate reaction is to Google something

and to use the Internet to find our information.

So when it comes to substance use, the Internet

is a great place to find that information, but sometimes

there can be a lot of inaccurate health information

out on the Internet.

So we want to make sure that we are taking the time

to train our students to find that accurate health information

and to be able to identify what is and what is not

accurate health information

so that they have that skill moving forward

to make the best decisions for themselves.

-Excellent response.

So a bit of a not so shameless self-promotion,

I mean, if you want to go on,

we have a section called The Student Center.

And what I'm about to tell you

isn't applicable just for college students.

September wrote an article for us on how to find relevant

and valid information around drug-abuse prevention.

If you go to The Student Center,

you can download the article that September wrote,

because I think that really will help you

not only in your own work but among your peers

and work that you're doing with your friends and such in school.

So, if you get a chance,

take a look at the article that September wrote.

-So, Will, I'm going to ask you, why do you think some people

your age in high school are using drugs?

-Well, firstly because I think they think it's fun.

Which at some point -- at some level, it's as simple as that.

There are people that are using drugs for recreation.

But I think at another level there's certainly a cultural --

there's a drug culture at my school

and I'm sure at many high schools around the country.

It seems like drugs are kind of the popular thing to be doing

and you really, really need to determine what you are --

who you're going to be, what you're going to do

and who you're going to be and the choices you're going to make

from day one in high school because I thought,

as a freshman, I thought I had made friends

who were at the time kind of committed to steering clear

of that kind of stuff and by senior year now, I can't --

they're completely different.

They've kind of given up on that.

And so, at some level, you really need to try

and make friends who are going to share your kind of standards,

but at another level, you have to be willing to just say no

even if you're the only one.

It's better to be right and alone

than to be wrong and in the crowd.

-Okay. Thank you.

Sharona, I'm going to talk to you.

We're focussing this first question on challenges

and the why.

What are some of the challenges that your community --

and you're in several communities within D.C.


-But what are the some of the challenges

that the community faces around drug use?

-So, what I will say is

each community does have its own identity.

However, right now there is more of an issue

around synthetic marijuana, more so than opioids.

And I do want to say that, you know, as we're hearing

and having these conversations,

the crisis didn't just start now.

The crisis started back in the '80s

when crack came to the nation's capital,

when the nation's capital

was the murder capital of the world.

But, unfortunately because of the communities,

it's affecting more white, more affluent,

we're now talking about it as a crisis,

but in my community, it's been a crisis for quite some time.

I do want to add just one thing from a parent's perspective

to Will's comment.

It's very important for us as parents

to listen to our children.

So I do have three teenagers, 15, 16, 17,

so I do have to do a lot of listening.

As a parent, it is hard because we do want to jump in

and sort of give our opinion,

but it is key for us to be able to listen

and just watch for those signs because we are the experts

when it comes to our kids.

So when we are seeing them be extremely different

and, as teenagers, they are going to be different

because they're growing into people

and figuring out who they are.

But when you're seeing, like, really erratic behavior,

you know, self-loathing, just wanting to be alone,

you may want to just start having conversations.

But it's great to have a good relationship with your children.

-I'm really glad that you mentioned

about every community being different.

We have known this in prevention for the longest time

that you cannot take

a cookie-cutter approach to prevention.

What's going to work, say, in ward 8 may not work in ward 5,

it may not work within neighborhoods within ward 8.

Every neighborhood is different,

and certainly as a native New Yorker,

you look at New York City, for example, a three-block radius

is very different than three blocks down the street.

And so it's really important to make sure

you know your community and know the issue that they're facing.

You started -- I'm going to have you keep the mic.

You started talking a little bit about

talking with your kids about this.

As a parent, what are some of the challenges that you face

in actually trying to talk to your kids about drugs?

-Well, to be honest,

and I'm probably going to be not the norm,

but I don't really have a challenge talking to my kids

because we talk about everything.

I am that parent

who, you know, we have a very open relationship.

When something is bothering them, I'm listening.

When they know when something is bothering me,

I'm going to talk to them about it.

So, it's just really, again, important

to have that understanding.

And with the prevalence of social media right now,

there's just a lot pulling at kids and, unfortunately,

you may have a social media persona,

then you may have a home persona and a school persona.

Thankfully my children are the same no matter what

because I've just made it very clear to them

that who you are is who you are.

You can't change who you are just for one group of people

or one moment in time.

That's who you are.

You are your brand basically.

So I don't have that as a challenge,

but I'm not going to say being a parent isn't a challenge.

-Absolutely. Let me ask you,

we know that one of the primary protective factors for parents

is setting expectations.

So, as the mom of three kids,

did you set those expectations,

this open communication you have with them,

very early and it's just continued as they grew older?

-Yes. I actually have four kids.

My oldest is 22.

-You still talk to them? -Absolutely.

-You never stop being a mom.


It has been very important, you know,

just from them being young, we've talked about everything.

They've been encouraged to do different things,

like my 17-year-old is in her first year

at the University of Miami and a lot of what she was doing here

as a student, advocating for others,

just being really involved in the communities,

she's even doing there.

So, it's just they've just been taught

to just try to be responsible citizens,

responsible human beings and to help others.

-So it sounds like you've set a foundation for them early

that they're carrying on in their other settings

and other schools and other areas.

-I've tried.

-Good to hear. Good to hear.

-Thank you.

-Will, I'm going to ask you a Red Ribbon-related question.

We talked a little it about this in your opening statement,

but how can Red Ribbon resonate with high school students?

How can we get the message across?

-I think that, you know, people their age should reach out.

There's -- there's a big difference between hearing it

from someone who's older -- -My age.

-Your age, sure. -Say it.

-Someone who is older and someone who is --

does this as their job or something

and someone who is just like,

"Hey, man, I'm worried about you. I want to help."

There's all these people that are dying

and there's all these people

that are getting themselves into serious trouble

and ruining their lives.

It just seems like maybe people my age don't like to listen

to people who are older.

And so, in some ways, just reaching out and being there.

-Yeah. Well, I'm glad you mentioned that

because we do actually know from research

that while it may not seem that your kids are listening,

they truly are.

Parents are actually one of the top influencers

on their kids, research has shown.

And so that's why it's important to have those conversations

with them, even though

it doesn't seem that they're listening, they really are.

So I'm glad that you've mentioned that

and the peer influence is certainly major

because that's another group that they listen to often.

And September, as a college student,

you've been in a peer education program.

So I guess that's a segue for you.

Do you agree with what Will is saying

from a college perspective?

-Yeah, definitely.

I think peers talking to peers is one of the fastest way

that information spreads on a college campus,

and I'm sure in a high school as well.

And so really making sure

if you're working with peer educators that they're trained

so they can dispel any myths on their campus

regarding substance use and they can provide accurate information

and provide quality resources in your community.

That's really important.

Students have access to conversations

that campus professionals just don't have access to,

whether they're bus rides, library conversations,

late walks at night.

These are conversations

that as much as campus staff might want access to,

they're not going to have access to

and having peer educators and student leaders who are trained

in this topic area is really important

so that you get the good information out there.

-So, while you have the mic,

let me talk to you about Red Ribbon Week.

How can college campuses celebrate Red Ribbon Week?

-Yeah. There's so many ways

you can celebrate Red Ribbon Week on a college campus.

And it's a really great chance to make sure

that you're getting students involved

in your prevention programming efforts

and planning these events with them along the way.

Student leaders, peer educators, campus reps

are really important people to involve in this work.

You could do anything

from just passing out red ribbons on campus

and giving out information on campus

regarding the important resources and new information

and research that's come out.

You can host trainings,

host lectures that students might want to come to.

There are so many different ways.

If you want to host a really big event,

a really healthy and active way to get students involved

might be a Walk-A-Thon or a Dance-A-Thon,

something along those lines.

Just make sure you're getting your students involved

so that they can help make that celebration a success.

-So for the people here in the audience

as well as all of the people who are watching and listening

via the live webcast that's actually going on right now,

I think I do want to make sure that I point you

to our Red Ribbon site on

So if you go to,

one of the documents that you'll find there in the tool kit

is a helpful sheet on 20 ways in which schools and communities

can get involved in Red Ribbon Week.

So, we pass that out as a resource, of course,

which September has mentioned many different schools

and communities can get involved in.

So thank you for that.

Will, I want to come back to you with something you

in your opening statement you talked about the drug culture.

And, no, McLean is not unique to this.

There's a lot of drug cultures, different drug cultures

all across the United States.

How has the culture in high school, and, of course,

you're speaking from your particular high school,

how has the culture made drugs more difficult to avoid?

-Because they're everywhere.

Like, I'd say, you know, we were talking --

My Geosystems teacher --

That's irrelevant, but one of my teachers was --

she basically said, "Oh, yeah,

probably 20% of the students at McLean smoke marijuana."

And the class laughed because the number is so much higher

in reality, it seems.

At least to us, like, maybe we're wrong,

but I think as students, maybe we're overguessing,

but, basically, um, it seems like it's everywhere.

All the time, you know, you walk into a bathroom

and kids are Juuling, which is another, you know, big issue.

The two ones in my school --

I think we're lucky that we don't have to deal

with some of the harder drugs,

but we are dealing with gateway drugs.

And that's equally as dangerous

because it just leads you down that path,

so there's a lot of marijuana and a lot of vaping at school.

So that's --

I think the fact that

it's become almost linked with popularity

is what's so dangerous, is that, you know,

that's what kids crave, right?

As much as we, you know, high school students want to deny,

that some people say, "I don't care. Popularity doesn't exist,"

which is a complete lie.

I think it's the oldest part of your brain that denotes

where your social status is, but --

And that is part of the reason

that kids are so willing to do drugs.

They realize that it will make people look at them differently,

and so that's where it gets scary.

The fact that it's fun, whatever, you know,

there's a lot of fun things

that people don't do because it's dangerous.

The fact that it gives you a little recognition from people

is where it gets dangerous.

-So a couple of things that you mentioned.

First of all is a newer resource that will be coming out

from DEA.

We recognize the prevalence that vaping has taken a hold

around the country,

so we do have a new brochure coming out soon,

specifically on vaping and marijuana concentrates.

So any moment now,

you'll be seeing that on our website that you can download.

And you mentioned the overguessing.

Yeah, they are. I mean, we can just say that.

So the fact of the matter is that most students and adults --

I mean, surveys have shown that most times,

students wildly overestimate the amount of drug use

that's actually happening

within the school or on the college campus.

The research just shows

that if you can address that misperception,

and actually drive the perception back down to reality,

it will then drive the drug use down, too.

I'm glad you mentioned that because, you know,

if your school hasn't done a survey, you might just ask

to see if they have, but I would go so far as to say

I bet your classmates are overestimating

how much is actually taking place.

Their perception is that everybody is doing it.

But the fact is they're probably not.

-Yep. -Yeah.

So, Sharona, I'm going to come to you

with your Red Ribbon question.

So how can communities coalitions get involved

in Red Ribbon?

-I want to give a shout-out

to the ward 7-8 prevention center in D.C.,

which is the organization I've been doing some work with,

not only personally but also professionally,

but it's important again to connect with youth

around that education piece, just to make them aware

of the side effects and things like that.

I do remember, especially when synthetic marijuana

was really a big thing in D.C. amongst youth

probably maybe about three to five years ago, you know,

because you would see it -- it looked like candy

and other things, it was really important for them

to get out there and to connect with the youth,

which they absolutely did.

A really great job of doing that.

I think just more of that is key

in terms of just getting the word out

and then creating youth ambassadors.

I think would be key to doing that because, as Will said,

it's one thing to hear from your parent, your teacher,

but it's another to hear from a peer.

So I think that's really important.

-Absolutely. Hold on to the mic.

We're going to wind up the panel with the last question,

which they're all going to get the same question.

So, start with you and go right down the line.

Sharona, what is one piece of advice you have

not only for our audience,

including those who are here in the room

but also on the live stream, what's your piece of advice

for those who want to make a difference?

-So, my piece of advice would be to, one, if you see a friend

or family member who is experiencing some difficulties,

definitely reach out for help.

I feel like we're just in a place right now

where we think we can just do it all.

We have to ask for that support.

If you aren't involved with a coalition, get involved.

Whether you're youth, parent, student, college student,

I think that's really critical.

And to just use your platform to get the word out

whether that's Facebook, Twitter, just connecting

with other folks to talk about the importance

of not using drugs

and understanding if you are prescribed drugs

to use them correctly.

-Great. Okay.

Will, how about you? What's your piece of advice?

-My piece of advice would just be don't do it.

You can't get addicted by never doing it.

You're not going to get addicted if --

you're not going to get hooked on whatever

if you never do it once.

And that, I guess that would entail

just deciding now that this is who I am.

I said this earlier,

but it's really important to me in my life, this is who I am,

this is what I'm going to do and there's nothing

that's going to shake me from that.

If you just make that decision,

you might see your friends doing dumb things, that's fine.

You know. I have friends like that.

But I don't let -- I still just say, "I'm here for you, man."

But I don't let it change who I am.

So I would say set your standard

where you want it to be and then just go with it.

-Thank you.

Okay, September.

-Students will help make your prevention work more effective.

Make sure students and youth have a seat at the table

when you're planning, implementing and evaluating

your prevention programs.

Students are really your allies in prevention,

and we want to see our fellow students live healthy lives

and we want to be a part of that.

If you're making a decision regarding us,

we should be included in that conversation.

So really make sure that you're utilizing your students

because your students are a resource.

-Okay. There are your take-aways

if I can rattle them off if I remember them.

Sharona, there is support out there.

Know that support is there.

And don't be afraid to ask for help.

And to provide help.

Will had basically said

it's basically setting your standards.

Know who you are and hold to your standards.

And help others do the same.

And then, September, I've known this for a while,

as of all you in this work, have the youth voice at the table

because youth will help to support

what they've helped to create.

So, that will conclude our panel.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Please give me a round of applause up here

with Sharona and Will and September.

[ Applause ]

They're going to take their seats.

We're going to show you a few more PSAs

and then we're going to get ready

to kick off the rally in just a few minutes.

Thank you again, everyone.

-I have the worst headache.

I don't think I'm going to make it through the night.

-Here. Take one of these.

Give it 10 minutes, and you won't feel anything.

-How did you get this?

-My dad left them on the counter.

-These are addictive.

I'm not taking it and neither should you.

-I know. They just make me feel good.


-Okay. I'll stop taking them.



-She broke her promise.

She started taking them more and more.

It wasn't long before her dad figured out

where they had been going.

She started to have withdrawals when he took the pills away.

She doesn't go to school anymore.

I don't see her anymore.

She said she would stop, but it's not that easy.

My advice to you, don't start in the first place.

-High school -- four unforgettable years.

It's where we discover our loves and our passions,

our hopes and our fears.

It's where we find who we are and who we want to be.

But that can all stop with one.

[ Tape rewinding ]

Instead of our reflection, there's only an empty shell.


It causes us to ignore what we love and those who love us.

The goals and aspirations we work so hard to achieve

are suddenly forever out of reach.

It starts with one.

In 2016, teens accounted

for more than 60% of patients admitted for opioid overdose.

Find resources and more at














-An epidemic in which more than 2 million are dependent,

a life stripped of freedom begging for pills

like he's never seen them.

Car crashes, head smashes, no traction.

Any of these possibilities more than likely happened.

Opioid abuse can be a temporary reaction.

Prescription pills doubled since 1992,

troubling millions just like me and you.

Loss of breath, stomachache,

meant nothing with their lives at stake.

Drowsy, lousy, out-of-breath kids,

forced to take prescription pills their doctors give.

Temporary euphoria given less of a reason to live.

Oxy perks, happy pills,

hillbilly heroin just for thrills.

Codeine-laced, out of place, sets your heart off in a race.

Therapy, rehab, medicinal lifeline.

Being rid of their chains takes a lifetime.

Drugs like these don't have fines.

Relapse isn't easy.

Rehab ain't no fun.

Change is possible but not for everyone.

-Life is full of choices.

We are faced with many opportunities to choose

between what's right and what's wrong.

Sometimes our judgment is clouded by influences.

One bad choice can cost you everything.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

-Hey, bro. What's good?

I ain't seen you in a minute. You look down.

-I guess.

-I got something that can help you with that.

-When you're in the moment, you don't consider the consequences.

But when the morning comes, you're going to wish you had.

Opioid abuse is a serious issue for teens.

Starting with school.

Sports are no longer a priority in your life.

Taking from the ones you love

and going to great depths just to get your next high.

Pill after pill, the madness grows deeper inside of you.

Then it happens.

[ Thud ]

It's time to make a change.

Let's come together and stop this disease today.

-Ladies and gentlemen, at this time,

please silence all cellphones and electronic devices.

-Ladies and gentlemen, a warm welcome

for the First Lady of the United States,

Mrs. Melania Trump,

Mrs. Mika Camarena,

acting DEA administrator Uttam Dhillon,

and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy,

Mr. Jim Carroll.

[ Applause ]

Good morning

and welcome to DEA's national Red Ribbon rally.

My name is Sean Fearns with the DEA Community Outreach

and Prevention Support section.

Our master of ceremonies today perhaps needs no introduction.

Certainly not for anyone who has watched

the award-winning series "Breaking Bad"

on the AMC Network or on Netflix.

Dean Norris played DEA Special Agent Hank Schrader

on "Breaking Bad" from 2008 to 2013.

He also portrayed

town councilman James "Big Jim" Rennie

on the CBS series "Under the Dome"

and currently plays mob boss Clay "Uncle Daddy" Husser

on the TNT series "Claws."

Please join me in welcoming Dean Norris.

[ Applause ]


Thank you, Sean. Good morning, everyone.

It's a pleasure to be here today

to help kick off Red Ribbon Week.

It's my first time at the DEA Headquarters,

and having spent six years portraying a DEA agent,

it will always have a special place in my heart.

Would you please stand for the presentation of colors

by the Young Marines Color Guard

and then remain standing, please,

for the playing of the national anthem

by the H-B Woodlawn Chamber Singers.

-♪ O say, can you see by the dawn's early light

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪

Whose broad stripes and bright stars

Through the perilous fight

O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there

Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O'er the land of the free

And the home of the brave? ♪

And the home of the brave? ♪

And the home of the brave? ♪

And the home of the brave? ♪

[ Applause ]

-Okay. You can please be seated.

Thank you, H-B Woodlawn and the Young Marines.

Thank you all for joining us today

at the DEA's national Red Ribbon rally.

This important program today helps to kick off

the celebration of Red Ribbon Week across the nation,

which is an annual event to promote living drug free.

During Red Ribbon Week,

drug-free observances will be held around the country.

These events serve as a reminder to everyone of the need

to educate America's youth about the dangers of drugs,

use and abuse

and as a call to intensify our efforts

concerning drug-abuse prevention,

education and awareness.

And that's why we're all here today.

I would like to welcome our very special guest,

the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Melania Trump.

Thank you for being here.

[ Applause ]

And we're joined by Mrs. Mika Camarena,

widow of fallen DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena.

Go ahead.

Please stand up and be recognized.

[ Applause ]

And welcome back, Mrs. Camarena.

And welcome to the students from across Maryland,

D.C., and Virginia

who are joining us here this morning.

Thank you, students.

I would also like to welcome our program participants,

guests from other federal government agencies,

DEA's drug-abuse prevention partner organizations

and DEA employees.

We also welcome everyone

who is viewing the live webcast of this program.

We will begin our program

with remarks from the Acting Administrator of DEA,

Mr. Uttam Dhillon.

Mr. Dhillon was appointed DEA's Acting Administrator

on July 2, 2018, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Before coming to DEA, Mr. Dhillon served

as an Assistant United States Attorney

in the Central district of California,

Associate Deputy Attorney General

in the Department of Justice,

and as a Deputy Counsel and Deputy Assistant

to the President of the United States.

Please join me in welcoming

Acting Administrator Dhillon to the stage.

[ Applause ]

-Dean, thank you for that kind introduction

and for being our master of ceremonies today.

I would like to thank all of you for being here

for this very special Red Ribbon event.

I would especially like to welcome my good friend

and America's drug czar,

the director of the White House office

of Drug Control Policy, Jim Carroll.

Jim, we are grateful...

[ Applause ]

We are grateful for your friendship

and for this administration's unwavering support

of law enforcement.

I would also like to welcome from the White House

James Behr, the Domestic Policy council.

Thank you for being here to demonstrate your support

for law enforcement

and the important drug use prevention work

we highlight today.

And finally from the Department of Justice,

Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs,

Stephen Boyd.

Stephen, thank you for your thoughtful guidance

and for always being there when DEA needs you.

And to our many colleagues here from law-enforcement agencies

and associations from around the nation,

thank you for standing with us

in our pursuit of justice and safer communities.

Red Ribbon is a special time for DEA and for the country.

The Red Ribbon campaign is celebrated in every

DEA office around the world.

And by DEA's prevention and education partners

to whom we are enduringly grateful.

It is a time for remembering those

who showed courage in the past and for projecting their courage

and commitment into the future.

This year's celebration is especially meaningful

because we're beginning to see progress in the fight

against opioid addiction.

Between 2017 and 2018,

we witnessed a 5% decrease in drug-overdose deaths.

While that may not sound like much,

it represents the first drop since 1990

and over 3,400 American lives saved.

There is much more work to be done,

but we are seeing meaningful improvement with the help

and support of the people in this room

and across the nation.

I believe, we will continue to make progress and save lives.

Red Ribbon is also an opportunity to honor those

we have lost and to recommit ourselves

to building drug-free communities

by educating America's youth about the real threat posed

by drug abuse.

And this is a day that we pause

and remember a person very special to the DEA family,

a person who is a testament to selflessness, courage

and to a commitment to a cause greater than one's self.

On February 7, 1985,

DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena

left the Guadalajara, Mexico, DEA office

to meet his wife, Mika, for lunch

just across the street from where he worked.

He never made it.

Throughout that February,

DEA engaged in a massive investigation.

While that investigation progressed, a local farm worker

discovered two bodies in a field

adjacent to a busy road about 1 kilometer

from a small Mexican ranch.

One was Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala

and the other was Special Agent Camarena.

Mexican drug traffickers had kidnapped,

tortured and murdered him.

I visited Guadalajara last month and saw the place

where Special Agent Camarena was kidnapped

and the house where he died.

It was a sobering and powerful reminder of the sacrifices made

by the selfless men and women of law enforcement,

who every day face incredible dangers in the fight

to keep us safe.

Special Agent Camarena was determined to make a difference

and he paid the ultimate price.

His sacrifice and the sacrifice made by everyone

on our Wall of Honor motivates us to work harder

to accomplish our common goals.

We do this by educating the next generation,

extending compassion to those in addiction's grip,

and vigorously enforcing the law against those

who prey on the innocent.

Special Agent Camarena attended high school

in the California border town of Calexico.

When people there heard of his passing,

they wanted to do something to honor him and fight back.

So they formed a Camarena Club at Calexico high school.

It was the beginning of Red Ribbon.

I'm pleased that two of the founders of that original club

are here today -- Henry Lozano,

a friend and high school classmate

of Special Agent Camarena

and who has dedicated his life to drug prevention.

And someone I know very well, my brother, David Dhillon,

a teacher at Calexico High School who worked with Henry

and others to bring about the first Red Ribbon efforts

more than three decades ago.

Henry, David, thank you for being here today

and for your vision.

I hope you're proud of the way we have continued your legacy.

The National Family Partnership helps carry on that legacy today

with their work on the Red Ribbon campaign.

Mrs. Camarena, thank you for being here today.

Your husband was a man of personal integrity,

courage and patriotism.

34 years ago, he died fighting for what he believed was right,

confronting evil in the form

of ruthless Mexican drug traffickers.

The DEA family promises you

that we will never forget his sacrifice

and the sacrifice made by your entire family.

And we will continue to wear red ribbons

so that others will never forget.

And I am pleased to see

that we are joined today by so many students

from D.C., Maryland and Virginia schools.

You are the reason the men and women of DEA do

what we do every day.

And I ask you to please wear your red ribbons proudly.

Go back to your schools and homes,

tell your friends and families

about what Red Ribbon symbolizes --

a call to serve as Special Agent Camarena answered

and a pledge to live drug free.

You have the power to change the future

and we are counting on you to do just that.

And finally, we are truly honored

to have someone here today

who cares deeply about America's children

and has traveled across this nation

bringing compassion to those who see too little of it.

She also shares our commitment to ending America's drug crisis.

Through her Be Best campaign, she has encouraged children

to achieve their full potential

and raised awareness about their health

and well-being, online safety and opioid misuse.

First Lady Nancy Reagan provided her early and avid support

for Red Ribbon and attended rallies as the campaign

got organized in 1988.

However, today marks the first time

a First Lady has ever visited DEA Headquarters.

So it is truly a historic day for DEA --

a day where we have honored --

a day where we are honored to have our very special guests

join us in celebrating Red Ribbon.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming

to DEA Headquarters,

the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Melania Trump.

[ Applause ]

-Thank you for the introduction

and very warm introduction, Acting Administrator Dhillon.

And thank you for all that you and your administration

are doing in the fight against drug abuse.

Good morning, everyone.

I'm so pleased to be here and for the opportunity

to talk about the importance of being drug free

and helping to share the message of Red Ribbon Week.

This campaign actively engage with schools,

resulting in students pledging to be drug free

while honoring the work being done by many Americans

to keep our communities safe.

My initiative Be Best is dedicated to helping children

and ensuring that we are doing all we can

to take care of the next generation.

Since its launch last year,

I have used Be Best to shine a light on programs and people

that show what it means to be best.

Whether it is showing a simple act of kindness,

providing care where there is a need,

or teaching something valuable,

Be Best promotes the positive actions

happening in our communities and around the globe

and helps children understand

what it means to lead healthy lives.

In my time as First Lady, I have traveled to hospitals

and visited rehabilitation centers,

where I have seen firsthand the horrible results of drug abuse.

Our administration will continue working hard

in fighting the opioid crisis.

I know Director Jim Carroll

of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

is with us this morning.

And I applaud and support the continued efforts

he and the entire office are doing to help in this fight.

Illegal use of drugs

destroys too many families in our country.

Drugs are taking a toll on our most vulnerable.

For example, an infant that is born

with neonatal absence syndrome

is a direct result of opioid abuse.

In November of last year, during the town hall,

with students from Liberty University, I addressed

the stigma surrounding drug dependence

and addressed the issue again in March in Las Vegas.

I will continue to address addiction

as long as it affects our children,

our youth and our schools.

We need to continue encouraging teenagers and young adults

that have fallen into drug addiction to be brave enough

to admit it,

to talk about it and to get help.

This also includes addiction

associated with e-cigarettes and vaping.

It is important to me that we all work to educate children

and families about the dangers associated with this habit.

Marketing this addictive products to children must stop.

Today is an opportunity to be proactive in our efforts

to eliminate drug use and addiction among our youth.

For Red Ribbon Week, students can sign a pledge

that if honored, will lead to a lasting,

positive impact on their lives

and the lives of their friends and peers.

I want to thank

the United States Drug Enforcement Administration

for their involvement in Red Ribbon Week

and all they do to keep our schools, communities and cities

safe from criminal drug use.

Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena's story

is a testament to the strength that comes

from a community devoting for caring for one another.

It is an honor to have the wife

of fallen agent Camarena with us today.

Mika, I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

Thank you and your family

for continuing to share Kiki's incredible story.

What started as a small hometown club

that honored the life of Kiki has grown

into a nationwide campaign for students to commit

to living healthy and drug-free lives.

Thank you again for having me here today

and thank you to the students who will be sharing

what it means to be drug free later in the program.

I encourage young Americans everywhere to sign the pledge

to be drug free and continue to be best.

Thank you and may God bless you,

your families and the United States of America.

[ Applause ]

-Thank you, Mrs. Trump and Mr. Dhillon,

for your words of inspiration

and your leadership on the drug issue.

Now, we all know that the Red Ribbon started as a result

of the horrible loss of DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena.

New for Red Ribbon this year

is a way to learn and explore the story behind Red Ribbon.

DEA worked with the experts at Google,

specifically Google Earth, to develop an interactive,

self-guided tour of key places

and events in the life of Kiki Camarena

and the origins of Red Ribbon Week.

So thank you, Google.

And, Mike Trinh, for your support.

We're now going to take a sneak peek video tour

of this new Google Earth experience

titled "The Life of DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena."

And we are honored to have

Kiki Camarena's high school friend and classmate,

who you heard about earlier from Administer Dhillon,

Mr. Henry Lozano narrating this tour.

And we're delighted to have Henry Lozano with us today.

Henry, please stand and be recognized.

[ Applause ]

-We will explore the life

of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena

through the lens of Google Earth.

Today we will visit the many places that Kiki has been

throughout his life, starting with where he was born.

Kiki Enrique S. Camarena was born on July 26, 1947,

in Mexicali, Mexico.

Affectionately known as Kiki,

he moved from Mexicali, Mexico, to Calexico, California,

when he was a young boy.

Kiki attended Calexico High School

with his classmate Henry Lozano.

During his high school years,

he played several sports at Calexico

and he was involved in his community.

He graduated from Calexico High School in 1966.

In 1968, he joined the U.S. Marine Corp

and was stationed in San Diego.

After serving in the Marine Corp for two years,

Kiki served as a Calexico firefighter,

a Calexico police officer

and an Imperial County deputy sheriff.

Kiki eventually joined

the Drug Enforcement Administration in June of 1974.

Kiki married his long-time high school sweetheart, Mika,

and they eventually began a family.

His first assignment as a Special Agent with DEA

was in a familiar place -- Calexico, California.

Kiki moved to the Fresno, California, office

in September 1977.

In July of 1981, Kiki transferred

to the Guadalajara, Mexico, office,

where he joined DEA's front lines

to combat drug traffickers.

His wife, Mika, relocated with him,

and they made Guadalajara home.

Together they raised three sons.

Kiki worked tirelessly

to bring violent drug traffickers to justice.

He was inspired to help make this country safe for everyone.

During Kiki's investigations,

he would record his findings in evidence logs,

which eventually led to his next case.


In November 1984, Kiki led Mexican authorities

in a world-record-setting drug raid on Bufalo Ranch,

which was a 1,300-acre marijuana plantation

with a labor force of 7,000,

valued at $2.5 billion.

At that time, it was the largest seizure ever,

thanks to Kiki's investigation, hard work and tireless nights.

Kiki's investigation of Bufalo Ranch

alerted the violent drug cartel of his presence.

He was close to uncovering a multi billion dollar drug ring,

a result of four years of hard work.

On February 7, 1985,

while headed to lunch from the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara

to meet his wife, Mika, he was abducted in broad daylight.

Kiki was just three weeks away from transferring to the U.S.

Kiki was tortured for days in a home in Guadalajara

and eventually murdered.

Drug traffickers Rafael Caro Quintero,

Miguel Angel Félix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo

were suspected of the kidnapping.

A month later, Kiki's body was found.

He died at the age 37 with 11 years of service to DEA.

He left behind three children and his wife.

On March 5th, Kiki Camarena's body was found

on a ranch outside of the town of Zamora, Mexico,

approximately 60 miles outside of Guadalajara,

along with the body of slain Mexican pilot.

Autopsy reports indicated

that Special Agent Camarena had been tortured and beaten.

On March 8, 1985, Kiki's body returned to the United States

at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware.

For DEA and the American public,

the torture and murder of Agent Camarena

marked a turning point in the war on drugs.

His violent death brought the American public face-to-face

with the vicious brutality of drug trafficking.

An investigation -- Operation Leyenda, Legend -- was launched

to bring to justice those responsible

for Kiki's kidnapping, torture and murder.

Because of the investigation, a diamond gun

of one of the suspects was identified

and later shown in the DEA Museum.

Operation Leyenda continues to this day.

This heartbreaking event shaped how we combat drug traffickers

and wide prevention is vital to this country.

Back in Calexico, as a tribute to Kiki and to honor his memory,

friend Henry Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter

supported students in the creation of Camarena clubs

in the Imperial Valley, California.

David Dhillon, then a teacher, granted Henry Lozano access

to the classrooms to recruit and allow youth to attend the rally.

The tradition of wearing red ribbons to show support

for living drug free was born.

The first club started in Kiki's own high school in Calexico.

DEA awarded Kiki the Administrator's Award of Honor,

the highest award bestowed by DEA.

National Red Ribbon Week was sparked by the murder

of DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena.

Hundreds of Camarena club members signed the pledge

for the commitment to live drug-free lives.

Two club members presented the Camarena club proclamation

to then First Lady Nancy Reagan,

bringing the proclamation to national attention.

President Ronald Reagan greeted Mika at the White House

in Washington, D.C.

-Yes, he was.

-In 1988, the National Family Partnership

coordinated the first national Red Ribbon Week.

To date, Red Ribbon Week continues to be the longest

drug-awareness campaign where thousands across the country

pause to recognize Kiki, his sacrifice,

and the importance of drug-abuse prevention.

In honor of Kiki and drug-abuse prevention,

we encourage you to take the Red Ribbon pledge

to live a drug-free life.


Thank you.

I'm Henry Lozano, friend of Kiki and Mika Camarena.


[ Applause ]

-This Google Earth tour

will go live to the public on October 22nd


And now it's time to recognize

DEA's 2019 Red Ribbon visual art contest winners.

DEA's visual arts contest

was established for children of DEA employees

to encourage elementary, middle and now high school students

to create drug-prevention messages in the form

of a variety of media bookmarks, posters and photographs.

All entries were reviewed by a panel of judges for originality,

creativity and a clear drug-prevention message.

Mrs. Trump and Mr. Dhillon, would you both please come

to the stage to recognize

the visual arts contest winners, please?

Thank you.

We will begin with the bookmark category.

The winning bookmark at the elementary school level

was drawn by Casey Santos.

Casey, would you please come to the stage?

[ Applause ]

Casey is in third grade at Adventure Christian school

in Roseville, California.

Casey is the son of Special Agent Cindy Yamasaki

of the DEA's Sacramento district office.

[ Applause ] All right.

The winning bookmark

at the middle-school level was drawn by Susan Pritchard.

Susan, would you please come to the stage?

Susan is in 7th grade

at Harpool Middle School in Lantana, Texas.

Susan is the daughter of Special Agent Bill Pritchard,

Aviation Safety Officer in the DEA Aviation division.

[ Applause ]


The winning bookmark at the high-school level

was drawn by Ava Davis.

Ava, would you please come to the stage?

Ava is in 11th grade at South Doyle High School

in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Ava is the daughter of Special Agent Michael Davis

in the DEA Knoxville resident office.

[ Applause ] All right.

Okay. Now we move to the poster category.

The winning poster for the elementary level was a tie.

The first poster was drawn by Aaron Robacker.

Aaron, would you please come to the stage?

Aaron is in third grade

and is home-schooled in Bristol, Virginia.

Aaron is the son of Chad Robacker,

staff coordinator in the chemical investigation section

diversion control division, DEA headquarters.

[ Applause ]

And the second poster was drawn by Anastasia Rosario.

Anastasia, would you please come to the stage?

Anastasia is in the fourth grade at Ferdinard T. Day School

in Alexandria, Virginia.

Anastasia is the daughter of staff assistant

Deborah Lynn Rosario,

office of Congressional and public affairs

at DEA Headquarters.

[ Applause ]

And the poster at the middle-school level

was drawn by Ava Ramirez.

Ava, would you please come to the stage?

Ava is the the eighth grade

at Benicia Middle School in Benicia, California.

Ava is the goddaughter of Alicia Reddy,

division outreach coordinator

in the DEA San Francisco field division.

[ Applause ]

And the winning poster at the high-school level was drawn

by Darkenya Gencarelle.

Darkenya is not able to attend the program today.

Darkenya is in the ninth grade

at Coconino High School in Flagstaff, Arizona,

and is the daughter of Jacque Gencarelle

the 360 community outreach specialist

in the Flagstaff office

in the DEA Phoenix field division.

Finally, the photography category.

The winning photograph was taken by Ean Echevarria.

Ean, would you please come to the stage?

[ Applause ]

Ean is in the third grade at the Kingdom Christian Academy

in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

Ean is the son of Nadia Rodriguez,

task force officer in the DEA San Juan division.

[ Laughter ]

[ Applause ]

All right.

Let's get a photo of all the kids together.

All right.

Let's give a hand to all our visual arts contest winners.

[ Applause ] Thank you.

Mrs. Trump and Mr. Dhillon, we have just two more awards

to present before you return to your seats.

Each year, DEA sponsors its Community Drug Prevention Awards

as part of the Red Ribbon campaign

to highlight the importance of grassroots efforts

to keep our nation's communities safe and drug free.

To recognize the volunteer activities

of DEA personnel and to enhance

DEA's future prevention-related programs.

This year 26 nominations from across DEA were submitted.

Thanks to all the judges

and intelligence diversion operations

in the field divisions for the time and careful consideration

they gave to review each of the nominations.

Each award winner receives a plaque

to commemorate their achievement

and $1,000 to support

their local drug-abuse prevention efforts.

I'm pleased to announce this year's award winners.

The first award goes to the Unified Prevention Coalition

nominated by community outreach specialist Matthew Taylor

DEA's El Paso field division.

The Unified Prevention Coalition for Doña Ana County, New Mexico,

was established in 2008 as a collective partnership

focussed on preventing substance use and abuse

among youth and adults in Doña Ana County

and Southern New Mexico.

Please join me in welcoming to the stage Marisol Diaz,

the director of prevention and community collaborations

at the Southwest center for health innovation

at New Mexico's public health institute

will accept this award on behalf of the organization.

Over the past five years, the coalition has decreased parents

providing alcohol to minors in home settings by 68%,

increased parents reporting

locking up prescription medications by 24%,

decreased sharing of medications by 25%.

Congratulations to the United Prevention Coalition.

[ Applause ]

All right.

The second award goes

to the Fort Bliss Army Substance Abuse Program.

Prevention Education Services Unit nominated

by Special Agent Jennifer Tinkler,

from the DEA El Paso Intelligence Center.

Please join me in welcoming to the stage,

Richard J. Depugh,

prevention coordinator

for the Fort Bliss Army Substance Abuse Program

in Texas, who will accept their award.

[ Applause ]

The Ft. Bliss Army substance abuse program's mission

is to enhance installation and soldier readiness

and well being by fostering a prevention environment

and creating lifestyles that are free of substance abuse.

The program continues to support DEA in its Red Ribbon efforts

by providing presentations to area middle schools

during Red Ribbon Week.

Because of their efforts, Fort Bliss has the lowest rate

for positive drug tests for large installations

within the U.S. Army.

As a result of their support

of national prescription drug takeback day,

there are now med safe bins at every pharmacy on post

so all can properly dispose of medications.

On average, up to 500 pounds are collected each month.


to the Fort Bliss Army Substance Abuse Prevention Program.

[ Applause ]

And that's all.

Mrs. Trump and Mr. Dhillon,

if you would like to take your seats, please.

Congratulations and thank you, Fort Bliss in Texas

and the Unified Prevention Coalition in New Mexico

for the great work that you're doing to keep us all

talking about the drug problem in educating our nation.

Now, in addition to the visual arts contest

and the community drug awards,

DEA promotes other contests and programs

that support Red Ribbon Week and demonstrate

that it is truly a celebration for everyone.

[ Clears throat ]

DEA is a co-sponsor

of the National Family Partnership

national Red Ribbon Week photo contest,

which engages families, schools and communities

to actively spread the Red Ribbon Week message.

NFP coordinate the first

national Red Ribbon Week celebration in 1988,

and we thank them for their continued leadership

and ongoing coordination of Red Ribbon Week.

We are honored to have Miss Peggy Sapp,

president at the National family Partnership,

joining us today.

Peggy, if you can please stand and be recognized.

[ Applause ]

DEA and the substance abuse

and mental health services administration cosponsor

a video PSA contest for colleges and universities

to promote the importance of preventing alcohol

and drug abuse among college students.

The entry period is currently open

and the submission deadline is November 8th.

The winning campus receives $3,000 to help support

their school's local drug-abuse prevention efforts.

For more information about this year's contest,

please go to


DEA also has a Red Ribbon Week patch program

that provides Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts the opportunity

to earn a patch from DEA by participating

in anti-drug activities in support of Red Ribbon Week.

I can say two of my boys have earned that patch.

To find out more about any of these contests,

or opportunities, please visit

or you can contact the community outreach section

here at DEA Headquarters.

There are a lot of different ways that students can celebrate

Red Ribbon and engage in activities that avoid drugs.

Tapping into their creative side is one way.

Maybe there's a budding actor or actress out there

in the audience,

could be the start of a new "Breaking Bad" movie perhaps.

In any event, next up are a few youth performances

that highlight the effort to bring talent to bear

and influence their classmates and friends

to send a message to stay drug free.

First up is Ms. Mikaya Jackson from Living the Example,

the mentor/youth foundation in Millersville, Maryland,

with a performance of spoken word.

After her we will have Olivia Burton, Cora Hudson,

and Solange Destouche

from the Polaris Dance Institute in Stafford, Virginia,

who will dance to "Shades of Gray."

So welcome them all to the stage. Thank you.

[ Applause ]

-Good morning, everyone.

My name is Mikaya Jackson.

Thank you for the opportunity for me to be here today.

I go to Old Mill High School.

And on behalf of Living the Example,

I am going to be presenting a personal poem I wrote

entitled "Live Different."

I hope you guys enjoy.

I know it's difficult to live this life,

so you ruin your body chasing after a one-time high.

You've hit rock bottom, trying to find the light

and now you think you've touched the sky.

Does life hurt that bad that you need to numb the pain

to self-induced poison to the brain,

to wake up every day saying, "I don't feel so great,

maybe another hit will help ease these veins."

You become so numb, you start begging for more.

Can't walk in a straight line to the front door.

Lying in bed awake, shouting, "God, please save me."

Your mom over your grave whispering, "I miss my baby."

Isn't it enough?

Is your life not enough?

You're stronger than you think and braver than you show,

but the worst thing of all is that you don't even know

how powerful you are.

The possibilities are endless.

You don't have to do things just because your friend is.

If these words could speak into your soul,

it would say you could do anything you dream to pursue.

The things you dreamed of, the things you believe,

all you got to do is get rid of the mask

and see that your life is precious.

So what's it going to be,

do you really want to smoke or want to be free?

Family and friends,

but none of that ever matters

until you realize how your story ends."

Thank you.

[ Applause ]


-♪ Thought it was love

Memories scope the lies

That lead me far from here, here

From here

Trying hard to silence all you say

But you stay in my ear


Because everything you didn't want

Became a part of me

All the things you asked for

I just could not see

Everything you are

You are

Everything you are left a broken heartbeat

Through the darkest shades of grey

I see beauty in the rain

I find myself

I find myself

Go and free walk alone in the night

Through the darkest shades of grey

I see beauty in the rain

Heart stops on the ground where I'm lying

Called out to a stranger and I

But it was you, you

No matter how hard I try to change you

You won't change with me

So let me run away, run away now

Watch me run away, run away now

I got to run away, run away now

I'm gonna run away, run away now

So watch me run away, run away now

Through the darkest shades of grey

I see beauty in the rain

And I find myself

Hold me, tears are blinding my eyes

Go free and walk alone in the night

Through the darkest shades of grey

I see beauty in the rain

Heart stops on the ground where I'm lying

Called out to a stranger and I

But it was you, you


[ Applause ]

-That was fantastic.

We'll now have a final musical selection

by the Chamber Singers from the H-B Woodlawn secondary program

in Arlington, Virginia.

-♪ You are the new day

New day

You are the new day

I will love you more than me and more than yesterday

If you can but prove to me

You are the new day

Send the sun in time for dawn

Let the birds all hail the morning

Love of life will urge me say

You are the new day

When I lay me down at night

Knowing we must pay

Thoughts occur that this night might

Stay yesterday

Thoughts that we as humans small

Could slow worlds and end it all

Lie around me where they fall

Before the new day

One more day when time is running out

For everyone

Like a breath I knew would come

I reach for the new day

Hope is my philosophy

Just needs days in which to be

Love of life means hope for me

You are the new day

You are the new day

[ Applause ]

-♪ I got something to say

Come on, listen to me

We're drug free

You're drug free, you're drug free

Everybody celebrate with me

-It's Red Ribbon Week.

-We're the Red Ribbon crew and we're proud to be drug free.

-Does everyone here know what Red Ribbon Week is?

-Red Ribbon Week is a celebration that happens

every year during the last week in October.

Millions of kids, teenagers and adults in the United States

and around the world wear red ribbons to display

to their friends and family to show them all

that they're committed to living a life that is free of drugs.

-You should have been given a red ribbon of your own

to wear at this Red Ribbon rally.

Wear yours to school...

[ School bell rings ] your grandma's house...

[ Cuckoo clock cuckoos ]

...or making your latest viral video.

[ Video game beeping ]

...when playing video games with your friends.

[ Video game beeping ]

-And at any other place you want people to know that you believe

in living a life free of drugs and alcohol.

Here is how Red Ribbon Week got started.

Like many hugely positive things, Red Ribbon Week

grew out of something profoundly negative.

On February 7, 1985, Enrique "Kiki" Camarena

has been kidnapped by drug dealers,

never to be seen alive again.

For his kidnappers, their story was to end there.

For his family, friends, and a grateful nation,

it was only the beginning.

They pledged not to let his legacy fade

and his sacrifice be in vain.

Across the country, citizens wore and displayed red ribbons.

-Drug free!

-I wear my red ribbon every day.

-Not only in memory of Special Agent Camarena,

but for all those whose lives were lost

trying to free the nation from drugs.

Beyond that, the red ribbon symbolized a development

of an attitude of intolerance regarding the use of drugs.

-There is nothing admirable,

positive or socially desirable about it.

There is nothing desirable about drugs.

They're bad.

-In a 1988 proclamation,

Congress established Red Ribbon Week to commemorate the work

and life of Kiki, and to show intolerance for drugs

in our schools, workplaces and communities.

-DEA celebrates Red Ribbon Week

with hundreds of other activities,

including 5k runs and walks, drug-free carnivals,

decorating contests,

poster contests,

and rap and poetry contests.

-♪ Live your life the drug-free way

Roll up your ribbon, let's celebrate

I'm drug free, you're drug free

Everybody celebrate with me

Move your ribbon from side to side

Let's celebrate a drug-free life

-This is red Ribbon Week. This week we celebrate.

Let's say the pledge out loud.

-Take a look what some of these kids do to stay drug free.

-I play baseball and I think that's very important.

And education, that's very important.

-I sing. I act.

I go on a lot of social-media rants.

I'm a very loud teenager.

-Love who you are as a person and not feel

that you have to escape from what's real in life.

-My whole life right now revolves around performance

and entertaining people, making people happy.

-Keep yourself busy.

Keep yourself motivated to want to do more than doing drugs

so you can have a fulfilled life.

-♪ Wave 'em side to side

I'm drug free, you're drug free

Everybody celebrate with me

-Thanks for joining us, everyone.

Oh, yeah, and visit

for information and stories about living a drug-free life.

-Have a great Red Ribbon Week.

-Parents can log on to for more information

about preventing childhood drug addiction.

-♪ I'm drug free

Hey, ho, hey

Yeah, whoa

I'm drug free

-All right. That was pretty good.


Now I hope everyone was paying attention

to the end of that video

where they did the Red Ribbon pledge

because now you all are going to do it for real.

Would Acting Administrator Dhillon please join me here

on stage to lead us in the Red Ribbon pledge?

Would all the students in the audience please stand?

-All right.

All right.

This is a pledge,

so please raise your right hand and repeat after me.

I pledge to stay in school.

-I pledge to stay in school.

-And learn the things I need to know.

-And learn the things I need to know.

-I pledge to make the world a better place.

-I pledge to make the world a better place.

-For kids like me to grow.

-For kids like me to grow.

-I pledge to keep my dreams alive.

-I pledge to keep my dreams alive.

-And be all that I can be.

-And be all that I can be.

-I pledge to help others.

-I pledge to help others.

-And to keep myself drug free.

-And to keep myself drug free.


[ Applause ]

-Thank you, Mr. Dhillon. Thank you, students.

I hope you all enjoyed today's national Red Ribbon rally.

I hope that we have all been motivated and inspired

to do more in our homes, schools, and communities.

To spread the Red Ribbon Week message

of hope and living drug free.

Not just during Red Ribbon Week but every day of the year.

I do have some homework for you, though.

[ Laughter ]

I want each of you to pledge to do something

to celebrate Red Ribbon Week in your families,

school or local community.

is where you go for all the info you need,

including 20 ways you can celebrate Red Ribbon

in your