Ketchikan’s leadership is renewing its attention on illegal opioid and other drugs in the community.

The Ketchikan City Council discussed the subject at two of its latest meetings, the first solely for the purpose of gathering information and coming together with others concerned about the local drug problem.

Part of the solution is educating the youth in such a way as to equip them to avoid the problem. While there are many reasons and excuses behind illegal drug use, one is not possessing sufficient knowledge and wisdom to say no to it.

That’s what this week is all about — educating students on the evils of illegal drug use.

It’s Red Ribbon Week.

The Red Ribbon Campaign describes the grassroots beginning of the effort: “Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. In honor of Kiki’s memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents then began to form coalitions using Camarena as their model while embracing his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions adopted the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the Red Ribbon. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.”

With these activities, Ketchikan schools highlight Red Ribbon Week annually. But, it’s not only for students. Anyone can acquire a ribbon and pin it, tie it or stick it on.

The display shows an awareness of the importance of preventing illegal drug activity. It shows support for stopping the distribution of drugs — particularly to the youth.

It also encourages students to make the choice that leads to the main solution to drug addiction — avoidance.

One ribbon at a time. One person at a time. One community at a time.

Ketchikan supports preventing the illegal drug problem.