Opioid crisis addressed in Red Ribbon Week campaign


Arkansas PBS, ArkansasIDEAS, DESE partner for ‘Arkansas Week’ special, statewide screening

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS is proud to join with partners for Red Ribbon Week 2022, Oct. 23-31, with the rebroadcast of the Emmy-nominated film “7 Days: The Opioid Crisis in Arkansas,” produced in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation - Little Rock Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Our hope at Arkansas PBS is to provide insight into the issues surrounding the opioid epidemic,” Arkansas PBS Director of Education Sajni Kumpuris said. “In ‘7 Days’ we do this by sharing intimate stories from those who have experienced addiction, loss and recovery, and from those working tirelessly to help combat this devastating crisis in our state.”

This year's Red Ribbon Week theme – “Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free.” – is a reminder that everyday Americans across the country make significant daily contributions to their communities by being the best they can be because they live drug-free. Red Ribbon Week also focuses on helping all Arkansas communities to create strong and positive support systems for people struggling with drug addiction.

“7 Days: The Opioid Crisis in Arkansas,” produced by Emmy-nominated filmmakers Nathan Willis, will re-air on Arkansas PBS Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. The documentary features Arkansans who have recovered from opioid addiction, families who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one, and medical and law enforcement professionals who shed a spotlight on the opioid crisis in The Natural State. The Arkansas Department of Education encouraged schools to create a watch party on Wednesday, Oct. 26, to view the Arkansas PBS-produced documentary or “Chasing the Dragon” for Opioid Awareness Day.

Additionally, “Arkansas Week” airing Friday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m., will feature a segment in which experts discuss the ongoing opioid crisis in Arkansas. Guests include Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership Director Kirk Lane, Arkansas Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jarad Harper, Little Rock FBI Special Agent in Charge James Dawson, Arkansas Department of Education Guidance and Counseling Coordinator Andrea Fortner and University of Arkansas of Medical Sciences Professor Psychiatric Research institute and Center for Addiction Services Treatment Program Director Dr. Michael Mancino.

More information is available at myarpbs.org/redribbonweek. The ADE has also included additional resources, including virtual activities to be used for further education on drug prevention.

About Arkansas PBS

Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, empowers learners of all ages by educating, informing, entertaining and inspiring communities. Arkansas PBS serves as a daily and essential resource for Arkansans by creating, sharing, celebrating and driving conversation around Arkansas stories and classic, trusted PBS programs through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at myarkansaspbs.org. Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), KETZ (El Dorado), KETS (Lee Mountain), KETS (Forrest City) and KETS (Gaither).