NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Right now, we are at the start of Red Ribbon Week to bring awareness to drug abuse and the problems stemming from it.

In response to the murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing red ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.

During Red Ribbon Week and throughout the year, DEA investigators visit with schools and community groups to discuss drug trends and promote drug awareness in communities.

North Dakota, along with most of the Upper Midwest states, is still dealing with a large meth and fentanyl crisis impacting so many people. And because of this, the DEA reports that programs like this are needed now more than ever.

“We see meth seizures come by in double digit and triple digit pounds quantities, and we’re seeing fake fentanyl pills come across in bulk. So, thousands of pills at a time sometimes,” said Emily Murray, Public Information Officer of the DEA.

Data from the DEA found more than 107,000 Americans died from drug use. And that number deals with the people who die from drugs. Not the friends and families directly impacted.

It doesn’t include people who survive an overdose. Drug enforcement leaders say it’s a problem that affects millions of people.

“We take this time to really promote the importance of drug education and saying no to drugs. And encouraging people of all ages from students to adults to be aware of what the consequences are of experimenting or using drugs,” said Murray.

To speak with someone about the possibility of having a DEA education and awareness presentation at your school or community group, click here.