Red Ribbon Week Brings Drug Awareness to Communities Across the Nation
Investigators from the DEA Omaha Division will be visiting schools during Red Ribbon Week to talk about the dangers of drug experimentation and use.
OMAHA, NE – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Omaha Division is supporting Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug misuse prevention awareness program, by teaming with community partners to raise awareness to the consequences of drug experimentation, misuse and abuse. Beginning today, landmarks in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska will light red in recognition of the annual 10-day event. In addition, Governors from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota have issued state proclamations encouraging citizens to demonstrate their commitment to a drug-free lifestyle.
Red Ribbon Week began following the death of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1985 by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico. After Kiki’s death, people began wearing red ribbons to honor his sacrifice. Today, millions of people celebrate Red Ribbon Week by wearing red ribbons, participating in community anti-drug events and pledging to live drug-free lives.
“I can’t stress enough just how important Red Ribbon Week is to the DEA community and the communities in which we serve,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said. “Last week, I visited with family members who lost loved ones to fentanyl poisonings. We talked about the significant role education plays in raising awareness to the lethal consequences of this poisonous drug. We need to be constantly talking with our youth about the dangers of this drug and others seen within our region. Red Ribbon Week provides us with another opportunity to have these all-too-important conversations.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading cause of death for Americans age 18-45 is drug poisoning. The CDC estimates that more than 110,000 people lost their lives to drug poisonings in the United States last year, with nearly 70 percent of these deaths attributed to synthetic opioids including fentanyl.
DEA laboratory testing indicates that seven out of 10 fake pills seized by DEA contains a lethal dose, 2 milligrams or more, of fentanyl. To date, the DEA has seized more than 62 million fentanyl pills, exceeding last year’s total of 58 million pills.
This year, 10 landmarks in the DEA Omaha Division are Going Red for Red Ribbon. A complete list of these landmarks can be found below. Communities across the nation are encouraged to “Go Red” by lighting up classrooms, offices, libraries, town halls and other locations using red bulbs, gel filters or red balloons and decorations. Participants can post their Red Ribbon photos on social media using hashtags, #DEARedRibbon and #GoRed4RedRibbon.
To speak with someone about the possibility of having a DEA education and awareness presentation at your school or community group, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Amanda Frazier at Amanda.M.Frazier@dea.gov.
Davenport Sky Bridge (Oct 23-29)
City Hall Clock Tower (Oct 23-29)
100 and 111 Washington Bridge (October 23-31)
Sperry Tower (October 23)
35W Bridge (October 23)
Lowry Avenue Bridge (October 23)
Capella Tower (October 23)
IDS Center (October 23)
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (October 23)
Fountain Ridge (October 23)