Proclamation 5883 -- Drug-Free America Week, 1988


October 19, 1988


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


The very concept of Drug-Free America Week, 1988, reminds us of how far we have advanced in our thinking and actions in the fight to stop illegal drugs. Most people now understand that illegal drug use brings illness, disability, and death. The illegal drug user costs our Nation billions of dollars in lost productivity each year, while undermining our economy and threatening our national security. Drugs ruin lives and destroy families and prey on our young people. Americans everywhere recognize the real and present danger of illegal drug use.


Most people also understand that illegal drug use is preventable -- if we have the will and the moral courage to stand and be counted. Drug-Free America Week is an opportunity to do just that.


During Drug-Free America Week, we will continue to spread the messages that there is no safe use of illegal drugs; that illegal drug use is simply unacceptable anywhere in America; and that we will pursue the fight against illegal drugs, in our homes and schools and in our communities and factories. We will seek and take every opportunity to oppose the presence and use of illegal drugs. We will hold drug dealers and users responsible and accountable for the plague of illegal drugs.


Each American has a right to live in a drug-free family, to dwell in a drug-free community, to learn in a drug-free school, to earn a living in a drug-free workplace, and to travel on drug-free roads, waterways, railways, and airways. Concerned parents, youth, community groups, businesses, churches, and educators are accepting the challenge to stop drugs and build a better future for our children and for our Nation.


We should be pleased with the progress we have made together as Americans -- in strong law enforcement against drug criminals, in international cooperation to reduce drug production and smuggling, in research to learn more about drugs and what works in treatment, and in education and prevention. Each of these important gains is a battle won in the war against drugs. We have started a crusade for a Drug-Free America. We must maintain awareness of the drug threat and continue the fight until illegal drugs are only a bad memory.


Many individuals, civic groups, businesses, and government at all levels are demonstrating leadership, creativity, and determination in the fight for a drug-free America. For example, the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth is observing the week of October 24 through October 30, 1988, as National ``Red Ribbon Week,'' asking all Americans to join in wearing a red ribbon to symbolize a personal commitment to a healthful, drug-free life.


To encourage all Americans to join together to stop illegal drugs, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 329, has designated the week of October 24 through October 30, 1988, as ``Drug Free America Week.''


Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week of October 24 through October 30, 1988, as Drug-Free America Week, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.


In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:34 a.m., October 20, 1988]


Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 20.