Red Ribbon Week

October 23-31

Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free.™

This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme will help amplify the campaign’s mission to encourage children, families, and communities to live healthy, happy, and drug-free lives. Red Ribbon week also focuses on helping all Arkansas communities to create strong and positive support systems for people struggling with drug addiction.

Red balloons on gold background, one is prominent with white marker text reading Celebrate Life Live Drug Free.
Red Ribbon Week takes place Oct. 23-31 annually.

Learn more about the national mission to help keep kids drug free.

Resources for Addiction, Recovery, and Support

Urgent Resources

Over the last five years, schools have held showings of the “Chasing the Dragon” documentary. Developed by DEA and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), this powerful documentary shows the harmful, long-term effects of drug use on not just those who are addicted to opioids but also on their family, friends, and community. This year, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is excited to join the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI Little Rock Field Office, and Office of Arkansas Drug Director to launch a new local documentary created in partnership with Arkansas PBS. This new documentary will highlight the reality of drug use here in the Natural State and can assist you in bringing the critical conversation about drug use to the local level at your schools. Schools can choose which video they show, but we encourage you to participate in Opioid Awareness Day by hosting a viewing of either documentary as appropriate for your students.

Learn more about the film here.

“Arkansas Week Special Edition: Opioid Crisis”

ArkansasIDEAS and ArkansasPBS teamed up for Red Ribbon Week in 2021 to produce “Arkansas Week Special Edition: Opioid Crisis” which aired in October. This special edition addressed the ongoing opioid crisis in the state and the special measures Arkansas government and health care experts took to tackle the growing concern during the time of COVID-19.

Guests included were Division of Elementary and Education Assistant Commissioner Dr. Kiffany Pride, DEA Little Rock Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Jarad Harper, FBI Little Rock Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) James Dawson, Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane, and Dr. Jonathan Goree and Dr. Michael Mancino of UAMS. Host Steve Barnes lead the discussion, which also featured a review of the new Arkansas PBS documentary “7 Days – The Opioid Crisis in Arkansas”.

See the 2021 Arkansas Week Opioid Special below:

Opioid Addiction PSAs

Partnering with the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and State Drug Enforcement Director Kirk Lane, as well as the DEA and FBI, Arkansas PBS produced four public service announcements highlighting the toll opioids has had on Arkansas, and the programs and opportunities available to fight the problem of addiction in the state.

Two of the PSAs – “What Does Loss Look Like?” and “What Does Help Look Like?” – offer first-hand interviews. Community member Cynthia Edwards discusses the loss of a loved one to addiction, while Dr. Johnathan Goree, UAMS chronic pain specialist, details the help available through UAMS that might prevent similar loss in the future.

What Does Loss Look Like?

What Does Help Look Like?

The remaining two PSAs examine state programs created to make reporting and recovering from opioid addiction in Arkansas much easier. “What Does Addiction Look Like?” highlights the importance and effectiveness of the recently-instituted, statewide "Good Samaritan” law, while “What Does Recovery Look Like?” provides information on Arkansas's Opioid Peer Recovery Network, now in its second year of operation.

What Does Addiction Look Like?

What Does Recovery Look Like?

In addition to the 4 PSAs, ArkansasPBS produced a longer version of "What Does Addiction Look Like?" for social media.

What Does Addiction Look Like? (Long Version)