The Arkansas Federal Bureau of Investigation began Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 26-30 holding an exclusive media gathering featuring interviews with executives from the state officials representing the FBI, drug enforcement authority and state department of education.
Red Ribbon Week began after the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in 1985. His undercover work for over 4 years led to discovering a multimillion-dollar marijuana manufacturing operation and his death changed the face of Mexican drug cartels.
His discovery in Chihuahua, Mexico, led eventually to the capture of Joaquin “El Champo” Guzman.
“We want our communities to be strong and encourage families to live healthy, happy, and drug-free lives,” said State of Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane, a former Saline County Sheriff's Department officer and former Benton police chief.
“We’re partnering with the FBI, DEA, Arkansas PBS to produce public service announcement highlighting the toll opioids have had on the state and opportunities available to fight the addition in our state,” said Lane.
ArkansasIDEAS and ArkansasPBS teamed up and produced “Arkansas Week Special Edition: Opioid Crisis” which aired Friday, Oct. 23.
The FBI-produced documentary, “Chasing the Dragon” is an effort to help educate students and young adults about the dangers of opioid addition.
“The film may be difficult to watch, but we hope it educates our students and young adults about the tragic consequences that come with abusing these drugs and that it will cause people to think twice before becoming its next victim,” said former FBI Director James Comey in a recent statement to the Washington press.
“The film reinforces the messages and is a guide for life, the components and the addiction cycle for students,” said Johnny Key Arkansas Dept. of Education Secretary, “and we’re proud to say 85% of our schools are participating.”
“Education is the best way to combat starting an opioid habit,” said Diane Upchurch, FBI Little Rock special agent. “Young people usually start on opioids and they’re easy targets for drug dealers encouraging them to try meth, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.
“Chasing the Dragon” can be viewed on YouTube and PBS Facebook sites.