The Cincinnati Reds, striving to strengthen their pitching, obtained Bill Gullickson yesterday in a six-player trade with the Montreal Expos.

The Reds obtained Gullickson, 26, and reserve catcher Sal Butera for right-handed pitchers Jay Tibbs, John Stuper and Andy McGaffigan and backup catcher Dann Bilardello.

"To get quality, you've got to give up quality," said Pete Rose, the Reds' player-manager.

Gullickson, a six-year veteran with Montreal, was 14-12 with a 3.52 ERA last season. He joins right-handers Mario Soto and John Denny, obtained last week from Philadelphia, and left-hander Tom Browning, who finished with a 20-9 record in 1985, as Cincinnati starters.

Butera, 33, batted .200 in 67 games for Montreal in 1985 and has previously played for Minnesota and Detroit . . .

Don Fehr, executive director of the Major League Players Association, said the union will attack baseball's drug problem with an educational campaign for children, sending a message to "the people who will be facing the problem in the next few years, that drugs are bad and to stay away from them."

The first of a series of publications, a coloring book titled "It's OK to Say No to Drugs," is expected to be available in February. All royalties from the book will go to drug education, prevention, treatment and research programs, Fehr said.