Forces United is a unique initiative developed by CADFY in partnership with the California National Guard (CNG) Civil Operations and Counter Drug Task Force (CDTF) to create a statewide network of coalitions capable of effectively and substantially supporting statewide initiatives that will achieve positive and measurable community change.

Forces United strives to have appropriate placement and comprehensive training of CNG Civil Operations and CDTF personnel within each HIDTA region (Northern California, Central Valley, Los Angeles and the border region) in the state of California. With the placement of Civil Operations and CDTF personnel, Forces United will develop partnerships with community coalitions within each region and help these coalitions grow and develop new partnerships in their communities and throughout the state.

The goal of Forces United is to have a fully developed network of coalitions throughout the state of California operating in partnership to ensure safe, healthy and drug free communities.  Forces United hopes to achieve this goal through a three-phase approach:


  • Phase 1:  Immediate Action – ensuring appropriate placement and training of personnel in all of the HIDTA regions.

  • Phase 2:  Organizational Change – developing partnerships with coalitions within each HIDTA region.

  • Phase 3:  Refinement and Sustainability – helping to strengthen the coalitions by promoting collaboration and communication between the partnerships within each HIDTA region.


The Bi-National Exchange is a bilateral initiative to reduce the consumption of drugs along the Baja California and California border region. Through the Bi-national Exchange the United States and Mexico work jointly to reduce the demand of drugs in the areas of prevention, treatment, and policy development.


  • To promote the normalization and standardization of drug free communities in our border community.

  • Offer government entities and community coalition’s useful resources, allowing them to protect their community from the illicit drug trade.

  • Advise border communities in reducing the use of methamphetamine drugs and clandestine methamphetamine laboratories.


  • To bring together U.S. and Mexico law enforcement agencies education and treatment entities to work in a cooperative manner to reduce the demand of illicit drugs in our border community.

  • Gather similar information on drug trends from the both sides of the border that can help communities and other interested parties know the facts of drug related issues.

  • Provide advice for possible policy development pertaining to the drug demand reduction issues in our border community. Advise government officials from federal, state, local and international agency’s on prevention programs that have worked efficiently in other communities.

  • Build a combined long lasting partnership of government and non-profit organizations to work jointly to enhance current anti-drug strategies.

  • Provide training, material and advice to law enforcement agencies in a bilateral manner.

The representatives from the United States and Mexico agree that there is a common and severe drug problem on our border region and have agreed at this time to focus on these key areas:

  • Information Dissemination and Data Collection (Comparison)

  • Training, Education & Technical Assistance

  • Treatment Availability and Youth Involvement Issues

  • Policy

It is also agreed that by joining cooperative efforts, together we can make a difference for the same purpose, to provide a safer border community.


The purpose of the Red Ribbon Celebration is to present a unified, positive and visible commitment toward reducing substance abuse in every community. This annual celebration commemorates the sacrifice of life lost through addiction and the violence and destruction that accompanies drug abuse. It also celebrates the choice for a drug-free lifestyle and is a catalyst to focus attention on taking action.

 The Red Ribbon Celebration began in 1985.  Several community groups of parents and youth took a stand against the destruction and violence surrounding drug abuse. They rallied together on behalf of the health and safety of everyone in the community.  They stood in honor of a fallen son, brother, husband, father and friend, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. “Kiki” had been brutally tortured and murdered by drug traffickers in Guadalajara, Mexico. “Kiki” worked undercover as a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent to expose drug traffickers. Enrique’s death was not the first or the last. It simply became a catalyst for action. Starting in his hometown of El Centro, youth and parents formed “Kiki” clubs to remember “Kiki” and bring awareness to the various sectors of the community about the consequences of illicit drug use to individuals, families, and communities. Wearing a Red Ribbon during the last week in October each year has become a symbol for the sacrifice “Kiki” and many others have made in their efforts to stem the flow of illicit drugs and the violence surrounding drug abuse.  It has also become a time to celebrate making good choices for healthy, drug-free lifestyles.

CADFY and the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) helped to initiate California’s first annual statewide Red Ribbon Celebration in 1986.  CADFY was the official state sponsor for the state’s Red Ribbon Celebration for the next 12 years with support from many other state organizations including the Governor’s office, California Department of Education, California Attorney General’s office, the Department of Justice, the California National Guard, and the Narcotics Officers’ Association among others.  As the Prevention movement became institutionalized across the country, so did Red Ribbon Week.  Schools and communities in many states set aside time during the last week in October to not only remember “Kiki” Camarena and the sacrifice he and his family made, but to also raise awareness and educate youth, parents, and community members to recognize the issues, the destructive impact it has on all of us, and the potential solutions that have been developed over time to reduce the violence and destruction of substance abuse.  CADFY has continued to support Red Ribbon Week throughout the succeeding years, though not as substantially as in the early years with CADFY’s focus now being on year-round prevention efforts.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) – 2014

“Slightly more than half of Americans aged 12 or older report being current drinkers of alcohol.”

©2019 Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth

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