From the DEA Kansas City District Office, we would like to welcome you to Operation Engage!
As we all know, there are far too many non-fatal and fatal drug overdoses affecting our communities, sadly these numbers are increasing. In response, DEA has moved toward community-level collaborative efforts to help reduce these numbers through education and awareness, using our wide range of resources.
Through Operation Engage, our District Office will focus on the metropolitan region of Kansas City, bringing our resources to cross the state border to address the twin threats of methamphetamine and fentanyl. Other components of Operation Engage include:
- Stakeholder/Community Gatherings: To share the latest information about drug trends, drug threats, and other related pertinent information. Central to this effort will be a community summit with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), where Kansas City organizations focused on drug prevention may gather to collaborate on addressing these issues.
- DEA’s Citizens Academy: DEA recognizes the importance of forging strong alliances with local communities and maintaining collaborative relationships with community leaders. DEA’s Citizens Academy offers participants the opportunity to understand the world of federal drug law enforcement and the important role DEA and the community together, play in combating drug trafficking, drug abuse and related violence.
- Youth Engagement: Through programs like the DEA Educational Foundation Youth Afterschool Program, children of all ages will be able to actively participate in age-appropriate activities, designed for them to learn and gain the most knowledge about the dangers of drugs in a fun way.
- Community Outreach Programs: DEA, along with stakeholder involvement, will concentrate efforts in the communities most affected by opioid misuse. In those targeted communities, the Kansas City District Office will participate in facilitating prevention strategies to include, but not limited to, drug prevention training and technical assistance for communities, coalition outreach, and prescription drug take back events to name a few.
These are only a few of the many resources and opportunities we have available to share with our communities.
We invite you, and your families, to explore our Operation Engage webpage to learn about the many resources we have available. Learning as a family, early on, is the first step in avoiding drug experimentation, drug misuse, drug addiction, and all related behaviors that are plaguing our communities.
Assistant Special Agents in Charge Rogeana Patterson-King and Miles Aley
The Midwest High Intensity Drug Threat Area assessed methamphetamine as the Kansas City region’s greatest drug threat in 2021 when considering its nexus to violence and other criminal activity. Heroin/synthetic opioids rank as the second greatest threat, with opioid overdoses skyrocketing in both Kansas and Missouri. These prevalent synthetic drugs are flooding into the Kansas City metro area, creating an overdose crisis of stunning proportions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 overdose deaths in the state of Kansas were reported in the year prior to September 2021, an increase of 48.7%. Missouri’s overdose deaths topped 2,000, an increase of nearly 12%. In addition, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services indicates that the Kansas City Metro Region had a 40% increase in total drug overdose deaths in the first half of 2021 for the state of Missouri. Opioid-involved drug overdose deaths – 73% of the total drug overdose deaths– represent the majority of deaths in Missouri, while overdose deaths involving stimulants increased by approximately 21% statewide in the first half of 2021. The CDC estimated overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids (primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl) rose 25.8% and appear to be the primary driver of the increase in total drug overdose deaths nationwide.
Learn more about fentanyl and fake pills that are affecting young adults and youth. The One Pill Can Kill website can provide facts for families wanting to learn more about the dangers of fake pills and fentanyl.
Johnson County Mental Health: provides resources and treatment options for those seeking assistance with substance misuse and counseling. 24/7 Crisis Hotline is 913-268-0156
Tri-County Mental Health Services: gives mental health and substance misuse resources and treatment options for those in Clay, Platte, and Ray County.
First Call: First Call provides help for individuals and families impacted by addiction and alcohol abuse. 24/7 Crisis Hotline 816-361-5900
FindTreatment.gov to search for general drug treatment facilities in your area. On this site, you can find facilities that offer various payment options (including free and no-cost care), youth treatment facilities, special programs for Veterans, plus more.
Otherwise, enter your zip code below to find substance abuse treatment facilities in your area.
One Pill Can Kill: DEA-led campaign that provides awareness of the increasing fentanyl related overdose deaths we are seeing nationwide. Fentanyl and opioids are affecting local youth. One Pill Can Kill website can provide facts for families wanting to learn more about the dangers of counterfeit pills and fentanyl.
DCCCA: Developing Caring Communities Committed to Action (DCCCA) provides social and community services that improve the safety, health, and well-being of those we serve. Through Behavioral Health, Prevention, Traffic Safety, Family Preservation, Foster Care, Quality Improvement, and other programs, DCCCA continues to honor its commitment to the community by providing valuable human services that help enrich and improve the quality of life for both adults and children.
Parent UP KC: Parent UP KC is local resource that gives parents information about drugs use among youth. It has great tools for parents and talking points for when you are ready to talk to kids about drugs.
Get Smart About Drugs: This is a resource for parents, educators and caregivers. This website also provides a range of DEA publications, available in both English and Spanish.
SAMHSA: “Talk. They Hear You.” is a free mobile app that helps you prepare for one of the most important conversations you may ever have with your children about underage drinking and drug use. The app provides parents and caregivers of children and teens ages 9 to 15 with the tools and information they need to start talking with their children early about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
For more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL2XMiOO0Fg
Hidden in Plain View: Visit this interactive, virtual bedroom. Can you see the signs of drug use? http://hipv.addictionisreal.org/ Addiction is Real offers a parent toolkit for how to start a conversation about substance use with your children.
Dead on Arrival: Counterfeit pills with fentanyl are deadly. This film by VOID (Victims of Illicit Drugs) is an eye-opening story from the families who have lost a loved one. There versions in both English and Spanish.
Operation Prevention: The DEA and Discovery Education have created Operation Prevention to provide communities with proactive digital tools to raise awareness about the dangers of substance misuse. This resource is free and is available in English and Spanish for students in grades 3-12, plus additional resources designed for educators, families, and professionals.
Campus Drug Prevention: The DEA provides institutions of higher education and their communities with this resource to prevent drug misuse among college students.
NIDA for Teens: This website provides helpful drug facts as well as games and activities teens can do to learn more about the dangers of drugs.
Opioid Basics: Center for Disease Control offers more information about opioids and the different types there are out there that can cause harm and addiction.
Looking for prevention resources specifically for young people? Go to the teen-focused site www.justthinktwice.com/. Here, they'll be able to get facts about drug use and learn ways to live a drug-free life.
Competition Deadline: Oct. 28, 2022
Calling all high school students to participate in our public service announcement (PSA) video competition by creating a 30-second video message that encourages peers to stay drug-free and inspires them to lead a healthy lifestyle. GRAND PRIZE is $1000, SECOND PRIZE is $500, and THIRD PRIZE is $250. For more information on how you can register and submit your PSA video for the competition by October 28th, visit REELPREVENTION.ORG
Date: Nov. 5, 2022
Where: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
SAVE THE DATE! DEA Kansas City has teamed up with Sober Entertainment to host a Fentanyl and Substance-Free Awareness Tailgate on November 5th for the University of Kansas vs. Oklahoma State University football game. We would like to invite families who have lost a loved one to substance use, drugs, as well as those who may be dealing with drug use disorder. The time of the tailgate will be announced when game time is announced in a few weeks. Stay tuned.
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DEA. 2 March, 2022. Operation Engage Kansas City. Retrieved from https://www.dea.gov/engage/operation-engage-kansascity on 5 December, 2022
DEA. "Operation Engage Kansas City."Drug Enforcement Agency, 2 March, 2022, https://www.dea.gov/engage/operation-engage-kansascity Accessed 5 December, 2022.
DEA. . Drug Enforcement Agency on DEA website. https://www.dea.gov/engage/operation-engage-kansascity. 2 March, 2022. Accessed 5 December, 2022.