Who We Are and What We Do: Diversion Control

Join us Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 11 a.m. as we take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Join Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum at a panel discussion with three members of DEA Diversion Control.

Diversion Investigators enforce the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the Chemical Diversion and Trafficking Act (CDTA) regarding the manufacture, distribution and dispensing of legally produced controlled substances and listed chemicals. They prevent diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market, while ensuring an adequate uninterrupted supply of pharmaceutical controlled substances and listed chemicals to meet the legitimate medical, commercial and scientific needs of the public.

In a time when the Opioid Crisis is front and center in our minds and media, it is critical to know who is working for our safety in the world of pharmaceutical drugs. Many problems associated with drug abuse are the result of legitimately made controlled substances being diverted from their lawful purpose into illicit drug traffic. Under federal law, all businesses that import, export, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances; all health professionals licensed to dispense, administer, or prescribe them; and all pharmacies authorized to fill prescriptions must register with the DEA. Diversion investigations involve, but are not limited to, physicians who sell prescriptions to drug dealers or abusers; pharmacists who falsify records and subsequently sell the drugs; employees who steal from inventory and falsify orders to cover illicit sales; prescription forgers; and individuals who commit armed robbery of pharmacies and drug distributors.

Panel Bios

Justin Wood

Staff Coordinator Justin Wood is a Supervisory Diversion Investigator in the Pharmaceutical Investigations Section (DOP). Mr. Wood provides operational support and case coordination for Diversion Groups and Tactical Diversion Squads involved in fighting the opioid epidemic. Prior to assignment at headquarters, Mr. Wood was Diversion Group Supervisor in Birmingham, Alabama. He supervised investigators who conducted civil, criminal and regulatory cases on DEA registrants. Mr. Wood also served with DEA for over a decade in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Wood graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) with a degree in chemistry and completed a Master of Science degree from Penn State University.

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown is a Staff Coordinator for the Headquarters Diversion Regulatory Group, coordinating investigations between Main Justice and field offices. He develops and maintains alliances with registrants and other key players regarding opiate education and regulatory issues. Mr. Brown’s DEA career began at the New Jersey Division, Camden Resident Office as a Diversion Investigator and later as a Diversion Group Supervisor. During his 14 years there, he led outreach and education programs as well as investigations ensuring compliance with federal regulations. Mr. Brown received his BS in Mass Communications from Norfolk State University and his MSA in Administration from Central Michigan University in addition to his career in the US Army and Army Reserve.

Donetta Spears

Donetta began employment with DEA July 1989. She came on board at the Denver Division Office prior to entering Basic Diversion Investigator Class #18. After completion of Basic Diversion Investigator training, she reported to the Seattle Division Office in September of 1989. Since then, Donetta has held positions in Seattle, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and at DEA headquarters in Arlington, VA, where she currently serves as Executive Assistant for the Diversion Control Deputy Assistant Administrator. Donetta Spears holds a BS in Criminal Justice from Metropolitan State College, Denver, CO, and is currently working on an MS in Criminal Justice, at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA.

Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Time: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

Location:
Auditorium, DEA Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Contact:
DEA Museum, [email protected], (202) 307-3463
Elizabeth Thompson, Visitor Services Coordinator, [email protected], (202) 307-5600

Streaming URL:
www.deamuseum.org/lecture/2019/diversion-DEA

Email Questions:
During the event, email questions to [email protected].

Admission:
This event is free and open to the public.

Who We Are and What We Do: Special Agents

Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Join Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum at a panel discussion with four DEA Special Agents.

Special Agents are on the front line for drug law enforcement in America and around the world. DEA’s goal is to eliminate illegal drug distribution, prosecute traffickers and destroy the financial infrastructure of these organizations. As the federal government’s premier drug law enforcement agency, our mission has never been so important. Agents are prepared for innumerable tasks including facilitating informant contacts, making drug arrests, community outreach, and international diplomacy.

Special Agents must maintain many skills to perform in less than ideal and often high pressure situations. While in the field, agents may investigate and help prosecute major violators of controlled substance laws, and partner with federal, state, local, and foreign officials in managing drug intelligence programs. Agents are often identified as the people who arrest and search subjects and seize assets connected to illicit drug trafficking, but they are also responsible for collecting and preparing evidence and performing other judicial functions. DEA Special Agents have a long-standing history in combating the critical problems of drug trafficking.

Agents Bios

Steve Fraga

Steve has over 33 years of Federal Law Enforcement experience working in the Continental United States and in conjunction with law enforcement counterparts in countries in South and Central America. He has spent 28 years as a Special Agent with DEA.

Steve has specialized in conducting complex criminal investigations, and has enjoyed assignments in the Los Angeles Field Division, Dallas Field Division, SOD Classified Projects Section, and SOD Bilateral Investigations Unit.

Michelle Spahn

Michelle Y. Spahn currently serves as a Supervisory Special Agent and DEA 360 Strategy Coordinator, collaborating with various local DEA offices in the field, as well as national and local partners in government, law enforcement, and partners in prevention, treatment and recovery, to implement the DEA 360 Strategy in designated cities nationwide.

Throughout her DEA career she has served in El Pas, San Diego, and Buffalo as well as Iraq and the United Arab Emirates where she oversaw all U.S. drug law enforcement efforts throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. She was also one of only two female agents to have ever been selected for the elite Foreign-Deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST).

Amador Martinez

Staff Coordinator (SC) Amador Martinez graduated from the DEA Academy in April 2000, and reported to the Los Angeles Field Division on May 1, 2000. In April 2006, he was transferred to the Cartagena Resident Office. In April 2010, Mr. Martinez was promoted to the position of Group Supervisor for Enforcement Group 1, at the Mexico City Country Office (MCCO). In August 2012, he returned to domestic operations after six and a half years in the foreign arena and was transferred back to the Los Angeles Field Division.

In September 2016, SC Martinez reported to Headquarters, where he has been assigned to the Office of Operations Management (OM), Investigative Support Section (OMS); Office of Global Enforcement (OE), Mexico, Central America and Canada Section (OGM); and Strategic Planning and Support Section (OGP).

Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Time: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

Location:
Auditorium, DEA Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Contact:
DEA Museum, [email protected], (202) 307-3463
Elizabeth Thompson, Visitor Services Coordinator, [email protected], (202) 307-5600

Streaming URL:
www.deamuseum.org/lecture/2019/agents-DEA

Email Questions:
During the event, email questions to [email protected].

Admission:
This event is free and open to the public. Tickets available on Eventbrite »

Who We Are and What We Do: Forensics

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Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Join Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum at a panel discussion with members of the Forensics staff from around the country.

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Forensic Sciences is to provide quality scientific, technical, and administrative support to the law enforcement and intelligence communities and to the criminal justice system at large, to assist with the enforcement of controlled substance laws and regulations of the United States. There are three different disciplines within the Forensic Sciences division: Chemistry, Fingerprints, and Digital Evidence.

 

Chemistry

Forensic Chemists analyze evidence for the presence of controlled substances using state-of-the-art instrumentation, provide expert testimony in courts of law, support DEA Special Agents and Diversion Investigators in their criminal and regulatory investigations, and develop intelligence data used to determine trends in local and international drug trafficking.

Fingerprints

Fingerprint Specialists use state-of-the-art examination techniques for development and comparisons of latent prints, support DEA Special Agents in their investigations, assist with clandestine laboratory investigations, provide testimony in Federal, state, and local courts of law, and conduct training for DEA Forensic Chemists and law enforcement officials.

Digital Evidence

Digital Forensic Examiners recover and analyze digital evidence, provide expert testimony in courts of law, provide investigative support to law enforcement, and conduct training to law enforcement personnel.

 

Panel Bios

Jonathan Duffy

Jonathan Duffy is a Forensic Chemist at the DEA Mid-Atlantic Laboratory. In this position, he utilizes analytical techniques and chemical instrumentation to analyze exhibits for the presence of controlled substances, provides technical assistance to law enforcement, and testifies as an expert witness in court. Mr. Duffy is a Technical Training Officer, managing the instruction and transition of new chemists. He has also instructed lesson blocks as a Subject Matter Expert for the Basic Forensic Chemists Class. He is a member of the Quality Assurance Committee and the laboratory system’s Forensic Chemist Technical Advisory Committee. While working at the DEA, Mr. Duffy received a Master of Forensic Sciences in Forensic Chemistry from The George Washington University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science, Forensic Chemistry Option from The Pennsylvania State University.

Jill Mossman

While working as a Digital Evidence Examiner with the DEA for the last 13 years, Jill Mossman has worked with almost every type of electronic storage device possible.  The Digital Evidence Laboratory provides support by processing and analyzing electronic data in a forensically sound manner and presenting the data to the agents to use for intelligence or prosecution. The last several years Ms. Mossman has specialized in cell phones, focusing on device extraction, encryption and app database parsing.   In addition to her traditional lab work, she has provided cell phone training domestically and internationally, educating law enforcement on best practices in seizing and examining cell phones.

Anna Zadow

Anna Zadow started her career with DEA in June 2002 at the South Central laboratory in Dallas, Texas as a fingerprint specialist.  As a fingerprint specialist with the DEA, Ms. Zadow is responsible for processing drug evidence for latent prints, preserving the latent prints developed, comparing subjects to those latent prints developed, searching unknown latent prints in AFIS, reporting results, testifying in court to the results, and conducting field investigations to include assisting in clandestine laboratory investigations.  In September 2006, Ms. Zadow transferred to the Southeast Laboratory in Miami, Florida.  Prior to the DEA, Ms. Zadow was a crime scene investigator from 1994 to 2002 with two police departments in Texas.  Ms. Zadow obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University in 1991.

 

Date: Thursday, May 2, 2019
Time: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

Location:
Auditorium, DEA Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Contact:
DEA Museum, [email protected], (202) 307-3463
Kenna Howat Felix, Historian, [email protected], (202) 307-6714

Streaming URL:
www.deamuseum.org/lecture/2019/forensics-DEA

Email Questions:
During the event, email questions to [email protected].

Admission:
This event is free and open to the public.

Who We Are and What We Do: Intelligence

Who We Are and What We Do: Intelligence, March 5, 2019, 11-11:45am EST, DEA Auditorium, DEA Museum Lecture Series
Take a peek into the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Administration in our 2019 lecture series “Who We Are and What We Do.” Join Elizabeth L. Maurer, Curator of Education for the DEA Museum at a panel discussion with 4 members of the Intelligence staff stationed at Headquarters. Aaron Hurwitz, Intelligence Research Specialist; Kia M. Pratt, Intelligence Staff Coordinator; Carrie N. Thompson, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Intelligence; and William N. Trull, Intelligence Research Specialist will lend their expertise and discuss their respective roles in the Intelligence Division of the DEA. Together, they have over 40 years of experience with the DEA. Learn how they came to work at the DEA, their current roles in the agency, and their day to day activities on the job.

Since its establishment in 1973, the DEA, in coordination with other federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement organizations has been responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of drug-related intelligence. The role of intelligence in drug law enforcement is critical. The DEA Intelligence Program helps initiate new investigations of major drug organizations, strengthens ongoing cases and subsequent prosecutions, develops information that leads to seizures and arrests, and provides policy makers with drug trend information upon which programmatic decisions can be based.

The DEA’s Intelligence Program has grown significantly since its inception. From only a handful of Intelligence Analysts (I/A) in the domestic offices and Headquarters in 1973, to over 700 I/As worldwide today. DEA’s intelligence program encompasses a wide variety of investigative and strategic intelligence assignments spanning the globe.

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Time: 11:00 am – 11:45 am ET

Location:
Auditorium, DEA Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Contact:
DEA Museum, [email protected], (202) 307-3463
Kenna Howat Felix, Historian, [email protected], (202) 307-6714

Streaming URL:
www.deamuseum.org/lecture/2019/intelligence-DEA

Email Questions:
During the event, email questions to [email protected].

Admission:
This event is free and open to the public. Register Today »

Panelists

Elizabeth L. Maurer (Moderator), Curator of Education, DEA Museum

Aaron Hurwitz, Intelligence Research Specialist

Aaron Hurwitz began his intelligence career as a Crime Analyst with the Center for Law Enforcement Analysis and Training in Dayton, Ohio in 2012, providing analytical support for gang cases to federal, state, and local law enforcement. He joined DEA in 2014 and currently studies domestic fentanyl and heroin trends. In his position, he provides DEA officials and other U.S. government policy makers with high-priority strategic intelligence analyses on the drug trade in the United States and assesses the changing dynamics of counterdrug situation across the country. Mr. Hurwitz is the lead writer and lead briefer for DEA’s 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment which provides an in-depth assessment on complex topics that impact national-level high-priority drug issues including major trafficking organizations, smuggling routes and methods, drug-related crime and violence, and other pertinent issues that impact U.S. national security.

Mr. Hurwitz holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Criminal Justice from Ashland University as well as certificates from the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center and the Intelligence Community Advanced Analyst Program.

Kia M. Pratt, Intelligence Staff Coordinator

Intelligence Staff Coordinator Kia M. Pratt started her DEA career in 2006 as the Senior Intelligence Research Specialist assigned to the Intelligence Division’s Policy and Liaison Section at DEA Headquarters.  During that time, she served as the sole analyst assigned to the Centers for Drug Information (CDI) program and the Reports Officer (RO) Program.  She is currently assigned to the Office of National Security Intelligence (ONSI), Intelligence Community (IC) Integration Section. In her current role, she serves as a faculty member and the DEA chair at the National Intelligence University (NIU) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Prior to reporting to ONSI, Ms. Pratt was the Intelligence Group Supervisor for the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).  From 2008 to 2012, Ms. Pratt was assigned the Atlanta Field Division, where she was a strategic and operational Intelligence Analyst.  Over her DEA career, Ms. Pratt has supported several multi-jurisdiction and international drug and money laundering cases.  She has liaised with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, members of the Intelligence Community (IC), private sector entities, and foreign counterparts to enhance the exchange of law enforcement information, improve intelligence collection, and support DEA’s mission and programs, domestically and internationally.

Ms. Pratt holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Clark Atlanta University.

Carrie N. Thompson, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Intelligence

Carrie N. Thompson began her career with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as an Intelligence Research Specialist (IRS) in September 1998 assigned to the Detroit Field Division Office. Over the course of her career IRS Thompson has served in three overseas posts—Bogota, Islamabad, and Brussels—and multiple assignments at DEA Headquarters. In March 2018, Mrs. Thompson was promoted to Section Chief of the Intelligence Division’s Policy and Strategic Planning Unit and shortly thereafter transferred to her current position as the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Intelligence.

Prior to joining the Drug Enforcement Administration, Mrs. Thompson completed internships with The White House and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Indiana. Mrs. Thompson received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Notre Dame where she studied International Relations and Economics and graduated with Honors in May 1998.

William N. Trull, Intelligence Research Specialist

William Trull is an intelligence research specialist assigned to the Research and Analytics Unit, as part of the Data Management Section, in the Office of Special Intelligence, Merrifield Virginia. The NSD section provides support through the advanced use of intelligence, data, and geospatial analysis in order to perform detailed analysis of large data sets. Further, Mr. Trull’s work includes: geospatial support in the form of maps, charts, range analysis, surveillance support analysis, and training on geospatial programs such as ArcGIS.

Prior to joining NSD, Mr. Trull was assigned to the Diversion Intelligence Unit, as part of the Field Support Section, at DEA Headquarters in Arlington, VA. During his time in the unit, he was responsible for authoring reports and providing comprehensive briefings detailing the diversion of controlled prescription drugs, as well as the shipment of precursor chemicals into the United States. Working in conjunction with his unit’s many counterparts, Mr. Trull has provided investigative and strategic support on a multitude of cases covering DEA offices both domestic and foreign.

Prior to his assignment in Diversion intelligence, Mr. Trull worked in the Strategic Intelligence Section, in which he covered drug trafficking and trends in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Mr. Trull holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from Northern Illinois University.

From Addiction to Zig-Zag and Everything in Between: Artifacts from the DEA Museum Collection

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On October 30, 2018, the DEA Museum will host an interactive discussion on “From Addiction to Zig-Zag and Everything in Between: Artifacts from the DEA Museum Collection.”

Drug misuse, addiction, and rising numbers of drug overdose deaths affect millions of Americans daily. Understanding the history, causes, and consequences of addiction helps the public to better understand the problem as well as proposed solutions.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Museum’s collection of nearly 5,000 artifacts documents the history of drug policy, drug law enforcement, drug addiction, and drug education in the United States. Museum programs, exhibits, and educational outreach support the DEA’s mission to enforce controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and reduce the use and availability of illicit controlled substances.

Image: Experience Artifacts from the DEA Museum Collection, From Addiction to Zig-Zag and Everything in Between: Artifacts from the DEA Museum CollectionThe DEA Museum’s Director and chief curator will bring six of the Museum’s most interesting artifacts out of their cases to demonstrate a tangible connection to the problem of illicit drugs as well as the stories of the men and women who enforce drug laws. Following the illustrated discussion, audience members will be invited to the stage for an unprecedented up close look at the artifacts. This event is free and open to the public and will be streamed live over the Internet.

Laurie A. Baty, Director, Drug Enforcement Administration Museum will present “From Addiction to the Zetas and Everything in Between: Artifacts from the DEA Museum Collection.” 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum and Visitors Center is the preeminent federal government institution for learning about the history of drugs and drug law enforcement in the United States. Founded in 1999, the DEA Museum collects artifacts, photographs, documents, and oral histories from individuals involved in battling drugs and drug trafficking as well as the story of drug addiction in the United States.

October 30, 2018
10:30 am – 11:30 am ET

Auditorium, DEA Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Contact
DEA Museum: (202) 307-3463, [email protected]
Liz Maurer, Curator of Education: (202) 307-6051, [email protected]

Streaming URL: deamuseum.org/lecture-series/Artifact-Talk-2018

Email Questions: During the event, email questions to [email protected].

Admission: This event is free and open to the public.

Opioids and Heroin: A New Look at Some Old (and Not So Old) Drugs

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On September 18, 2018 the DEA Museum will host a panel discussion on “Opioids and Heroin: A New Look at Some Old (and Not So Old) Drugs.”

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were nearly 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, or approximately 174 per day. Over 42,249 (66 percent) of these deaths involved opioids. CDC’s preliminary data estimates more than 74,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017.

Experts in the opioid epidemic and the heroin threat will discuss the crisis of opioid addiction and overdose. This event is free and open to the public.

 

September 18, 2018
1 pm – 2:30 pm ET

Auditorium, DEA Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Contact:
DEA Museum, (202) 307-3463, [email protected]
Liz Maurer, Curator of Education, (202) 307-6051, [email protected]

Streaming URL: deamuseum.org/lecture-series/opioids-and-heroin-2018

Email Questions: During the event, email questions to [email protected]

Admission: This event is free and open to the public

 

Opioids & Heroin: A New Look at Some Old (and Not So Old) Drugs

Program Description

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were nearly 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, or approximately 174 per day. Over 42,249 (66 percent) of these deaths involved opioids. CDC’s preliminary data estimates more than 74,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017.

The misuse of controlled prescription drugs (CPDs) and the growing use of heroin, illicit fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues are being reported in the United States in unprecedented numbers. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 6.2 million people over the age of 12 misused psychotherapeutic drugs (e.g., pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) during the past month. This represents 22 percent of the 28.6 million current illicit drug users and is second only to marijuana (24 million users) in terms of usage.

There are more current misusers of psychotherapeutic drugs than current users of cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined.

The U.S. opioid overdose epidemic is still worsening: emergency department visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased 30% in 45 states between July 2016 and September 2017, and all five U.S. regions experienced rate increases.

The sharp increase in drug overdose deaths was fueled by a surge in fentanyl and fentanyl analogue (synthetic opioids) involved overdoses.

The increase in the number of people using heroin in recent years – from 373,000 past year users in 2007 to 948,000 in 2016 – is troubling. More alarming is the proliferation of illicit fentanyl and its analogues. DEA investigations reveal that illicit fentanyl and its analogues are increasingly being added to heroin and frequently pressed into counterfeit tablets resembling CPDs. Overdose deaths involving heroin are increasing at an alarming rate, having increased more than five-fold since 2010.

The United States continues to be affected by a national opioid epidemic, which has been spurred, in part, by the rise of opioid prescribing and misuse. Of the 11.5 million Americans reporting past-year misuse of opioid prescription medicines, many may have actually misused a counterfeit prescription pain medication.

 

Dr. Teresa Rummans, M.D. Professor at the Mayo Clinic will discuss “How Good Intentions Contributed to Bad Outcomes: The Opioid Crisis.” In a recent paper, Dr. Rummans and her co-authors describe the origins of the opioid crises. Thirty years ago, a claim that those suffering from chronic pain who received opioids rarely became addicted changed prescriber attitudes towards opioid use. She describes the transition from opioids being reserved for treatment of acute or terminal pain conditions and instead being used to treat any pain condition.

Rummans points out that governing agencies began to evaluate doctors and hospitals on their control of patients’ pain. Ultimately, reimbursement became tied to patients’ perception of pain control. As a result, increasing amounts of opioids were prescribed, leading to dependence. When this occurred, patients sought more in the form of opioid prescriptions from providers or from illegal sources. Illegal, unregulated sources of opioids are now a factor in the increasing death rate from opioid overdoses.

Good intentions to improve pain and suffering led to increased prescribing of opioids, which contributed to misuse of opioids and even death. Rummans emphasizes that stopping the opioid crisis will require the engagement of all. This includes health care providers, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, and federal and state government agencies.

 

Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., Professor, University of Florida will discuss “The Opioid Crisis – An Epidemic of Overdoses and Deaths.” Dr. Goldberger tracks drug use data and deaths throughout Florida through the Florida Drug-Related Outcomes Surveillance and Tracking System, which helps fight prescription drug abuse. He also studies the effects of fentanyl on medical examiner offices across the country. Illicit labs change fentanyl formulations, and medical examiner offices often lack appropriate testing methods with which to identify them.

Goldberger served as an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control’s Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance program. The program tracked fatal opioid overdoses in 12 states in fiscal year 2016. The program report found that the number of opioid overdose deaths is increasing, including heroin-related overdose deaths. The increased overdose rate is exacerbated by fentanyl, which is mixed with opioids and other drugs–like cocaine, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepines. The increase in opioid overdose deaths in 2016 was driven by a fivefold increase in overdose death involving synthetic opioids.

The CDC’s program was the first to use toxicologic and death scene evidence across multiple states to characterize opioid overdose death. Increasing mixing or co-use of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl analogs might contribute to increased overdose risk, because users are exposed to drug products that vary substantially in potency and that include some extremely potent products. Goldberger notes the need to expand surveillance for opioid overdoses to track the rapidly changing illicit opioid market.

 

Brian Fuehrlein, MD, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine; Director, Psychiatric Emergency Room, VA Connecticut Healthcare System will discuss “The Use of Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in an Emergency Room Setting.”

From 1999 to 2016, more than 200,000 people died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids. The death rate of synthetic opioids (other than methadone) increased by 100% from 2015 to 2016. The rising overdose rate is mirrored by an increased number of emergency room visits. Dr. Fuehrlein is the Director of the psychiatric emergency room at the VA Connecticut where veterans suffering from opioid addiction and overdose seek treatment. Fuehrlein points out that patients who have received an overdose treatment are at high risk for future overdoses. Many have a history of other substance use disorders, including marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, and sedatives. Fuehrlein’ s approach to a patient following medical stabilization, which often includes Narcan administration and other treatments, is to encourage medication-assisted treatment.

VA Connecticut’s patients receive a thorough psychiatric and substance use assessment upon admission. Fuehrlein recognizes the high prevalence of co-occurring psychiatric illness with opioid use disorder. He has observed that the severe psychosocial consequences and stressors associated with severe opioid use disorder may and often leads to comorbid anxiety and/or depression with a smaller number experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Fuehrlein advocates an aggressive approach in order to motivate patients who have experienced an overdose to be initiated on medication-assisted treatment. Once stabilized, patients are generally moved to a 21-day substance abuse program. He educates every patient on the need for a psychosocial support structure, which might include Alcohol or Narcotics Anonymous programs. Though some providers may not view the emergency room as an ideal environment for a recovery discovery discussion, VA Connecticut’s psychiatric emergency room patients are counseled about the importance for long-term treatment and recovery programs. Years or decades of opioid use are rarely overcome following a 21-day program. On-going treatment in a solid aftercare program that reinforces recovery principles and motivates patients to continue is critical to success, says Fuehrlein.

 

Dolores Breiner, Intelligence Research Specialist, Domestic Strategic Intelligence Unit, DEA will discuss “An Overview of The Heroin Situation in the United States.” The 2016 National Drug Threat Survey found that the threat posed by heroin in the United States is serious and increasing. Heroin is available in larger quantities, used by a larger number of people, and is causing an increasing number of overdose deaths. DEA Intelligence Research Specialist Breiner follows and reports on the domestic heroin threat and is working on the 2017 assessment.

Starting in late 2013, several states reported spikes in overdose deaths due to fentanyl and its analog acetyl-fentanyl. Between 2013 and 2014, there was a 79 percent increase in deaths related to synthetic opioids, the category under which fentanyl falls. The true number of synthetic-opioid-related deaths is most likely higher because of non-standardized reporting and because many coroners’ offices and state crime laboratories initially did not test for fentanyl or its analogs unless given a specific reason to do so. Further, there is no standardized system for reporting drug-related deaths in the United States. The manner of collecting and reporting death data varies with each medical examiner and coroner.

Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills, some containing deadly amounts of fentanyl, have been introduced into U.S. drug markets, exacerbating the fentanyl and opioid crisis. Motivated by enormous profit potential, traffickers are exploiting high consumer demand for prescription medications by producing inexpensive, fraudulent prescription pills containing fentanyl.

Heroin, while used by a smaller number of people than other major drugs, is much more deadly to its users. Deaths involving heroin are also increasing at a much faster rate than for other illicit drugs. Despite comprising a smaller user population, there were more treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities for heroin than for any other drug.

The misuse of controlled prescription drugs (CPDs) is inextricably linked with the threat the United States faces from the trafficking of heroin, illicit fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues.

In 2014, 10,574 Americans died from heroin-related overdoses, more than triple the number in 2010. Increased demand for, and use of, heroin is being driven by both increasing availability of heroin in the U.S. market and by some controlled prescription drug (CPD) abusers using heroin.

 

Panelists

Mark S. Gold, M.D., Moderator
Dr. Mark S. Gold is Chairman of Rivermend Health’s Scientific Advisory Boards. He serves as Chairman of the Addiction & Psychiatry Scientific Advisory Board and also as the Chairman of the Eating Disorders and Obesity Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Gold served as Professor, the Donald Dizney Eminent Scholar, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychiatry from 1990-2014. He was the first Faculty from the College of Medicine to be selected as a University-wide Distinguished Alumni Professor and served as the 17th University of Florida’s Distinguished Alumni Professor. Prior to assuming the position as Chair, he was a Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Anesthesiology, and Community Health and Family Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He is also a member of the McKnight Brain Institute and a Founder of the U.F. Center for Alcohol and Drug Research and Education (CARE), Adjunct, Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (DFASAM), and on March 5th, 2015, Dr. Gold became the Director of Research, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Educational Foundation working on global drug use, abuse and addiction problems and solutions.

 

Teresa A. Rummans, M.D., Donald and Lucy Dayton Professor of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic

Dr. Teresa A. Rummans, M.D., is a consultant in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic in both Minnesota and Florida. Dr. Rummans received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University and her M.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She completed a residency in internal medicine and a residency in psychiatry with Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. She also completed a master’s degree in Medical Management through the University of Texas, Dallas.

Dr. Rummans served as Chair for the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Florida and serves as Vice Chair for the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She holds the academic rank of Professor of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and was recognized with Distinguished Clinician in 2015 and the distinction of a named Professorship, the Donald C. and Lucy J. Dayton Professorship in 2016. She was elected both Secretary and then President of Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, served as Chair of the Career and Leadership Development Committee at Mayo Clinic and was member of the Mayo Clinic Rochester Board of Governors. Outside of Mayo Clinic, she has served on the governing boards of the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and American College of Psychiatry.

 

Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., Professor and the Chief of the Division of Forensic Medicine in the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida-Gainesville

Dr. Bruce Goldberger is a Professor and the Chief of the Division of Forensic Medicine in the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He holds a joint Professor position in the Department of Psychiatry Division of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Goldberger is the Medical Director of UF Health Pathology Laboratories Clinical and Forensic Toxicology Laboratories, the Director of the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, and the Program Director of the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System. Dr. Goldberger received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Zoology from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the President and a Fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology. Dr. Goldberger is an opioid consultant to the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Brian Fuehrlein, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine; Director, Psychiatric Emergency Room, VA Connecticut Healthcare System

Dr. Brian Fuehrlein graduated from the M.D. Ph.D. program at the University of Florida in 2008, adult psychiatry residency program the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2012 and addiction psychiatry fellowship from Yale University in 2013. Dr. Fuehrlein then joined the faculty at the University of Florida where he was an Assistant Professor. He served as the director of an MS2 course on pain and addiction, the assistant MS3 psychiatry clerkship director, was on the medical school admissions committee and on the M.D. Ph.D. program executive committee. Dr. Fuehrlein then joined the Yale faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2014. He is currently the director of the psychiatric emergency room at the VA Connecticut. Dr. Fuehrlein has a strong interest in medical student and resident education, particularly surrounding addiction psychiatry. He currently serves on the medical school admissions committee, residency recruitment committee and is the VA site representative for medical student education. He serves nationally on the ABPN MOC test writing committee and the education committee for the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. In 2017, he was awarded the Irma Bland award for excellence in psychiatry resident education through the APA. In 2018, he was awarded the Clerkship Faculty Teaching Award for Outstanding Medical Student Educator and Role Model. In 2016-2017 he was nominated for and completed the Yale Medical Education Fellowship and in 2018 was selected as an Education Scholar through the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry.

 

Dolores Breiner, Intelligence Research Specialist, Domestic Strategic Intelligence Unit, DEA

Dolores Breiner is an Intelligence Research Specialist with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Currently assigned to DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, she is responsible for following, and reporting on, the domestic heroin threat. Prior to her current assignment, she was an investigative analyst assigned to DEA’s New Jersey Division. Ms. Breiner is an Attorney and holds a law degree from the University of Miami, School of Law. She has used her academic background and work experience to assist the DEA in furthering its mission to remove illicit drugs and violent criminals from our neighborhoods, and fight the diversion of licit drugs.

Designer Drugs: A New Look at Some Old (and Not So Old) Drugs

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Panelists will discuss new medical applications for common drugs of abuse. “Club Drugs” including nitrous oxide, ketamine, and MDMA are seeing increasing use by medical doctors as treatments for conditions like depression and PTSD, despite their not being approved for such use by the FDA. The panelists will talk about the abuse of these drugs and their research into new, legitimate uses.

Designer Drugs Lecture Series image

Ketamine, widely used legally as an anesthetic and illegally in club settings is emerging as a potential new treatment for some types of depression. Dr. Gerard Sanacora—Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine—will share his research on Ketamine and its uses in treating depression.

Dental patients are familiar with Nitrous Oxide, popularly known as “laughing gas.” Dr. Charles Conway—Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis—will discuss his research on Nitrous Oxide and the potential for it and other drugs of abuse to be used as treatments for depression.

Dr. Jean Lud Cadet—Chief of the Molecular Neuropsychiatry Research Branch and Associate Director for Diversity and Outreach at the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of NIDA—will discuss the potential use and abuse of MDMA, Methamphetamine, and other drugs for PTSD and other psychiatric diatheses.

This event is free and open to the public.

Panelists

  • Mark S. Gold, MD (Moderator)
    Chairman of Rivermend Health’s Scientific Advisory Boards
  • Gerard Sanacora, PhD, MD
    Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine; Director, Yale Depression Research Program; Co-Director, Yale New Haven Hospital Interventional Psychiatry Service
    Topic: “Ketamine for Depression”
  • Charles Conway, MD
    Professor of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
    Topic: “Laughing Gas and Other Drugs of Abuse Used As Treatments for Depression”
  • Jean Lud Cadet, MD
    Chief of the Molecular Neuropsychiatry Research Branch and Associate Director for Diversity and Outreach at the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of NIDA
    Topic: “Potential use and abuse of MDMA, Methamphetamine, and other drugs for PTSD and other psychiatric diatheses”

A New Look at Old and Not So Old Drugs: A 2018 Update on Cocaine

A New Look at Old and Not So Old Drugs: A 2018 Update on Cocaine

Moderated by Mark Gold, M.D.

With Cocaine on the comeback trail, please join us as four researchers provide updates on this re-emerging issue.

  • Mark S. Gold, MD, Chairman of Rivermend Health’s Scientific Advisory Boards, Moderator, and CDC and Coroners Death Records for Cocaine
  • Leah Bloomenstein, DEA (Domestic Intel),  Current Intelligence on Cocaine
  • Jean Lud Cadet, MD, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Cocaine Changes the Brain and Damages It
  • Tom Kosten, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Treatment for Cocaine OD or Addictions?

Download the Transcript | PPT presentation

A New Look at Old and Not So Old Drugs: A 2017 Update on Marijuana Research

October 5, 1:00 PM Eastern Time, DEA Auditorium
A New Look at Old and Not So Old Drugs: A 2017 Update on Marijuana Research

Moderated by Robert DuPont, M.D.

With Marijuana in the news–both with state-level legalization efforts and research on its effects on the body and brain, please join us as four renowned international researchers provide updates on these issues.

  • Bertha Madras, Ph.D. Professor Harvard Medical School & former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, ONDCP
    “Marijuana’s risks for the adolescent brain and development”
  • Arpana Agrawal, Ph.D., Psychiatric Genetics Consortium & Associate Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis
    “Marijuana exposure in young people increases risks of schizophrenia, depression & anhedonia”
  • Adriaan Bruijnzeel, Ph.D., Associate Professor UFBI
    “Original brain studies prove second hand Marijuana, like tobacco smoke, is addicting”
  • Robert DuPont, M.D., Founding Director, NIDA and former Drug Czar
    “Second hand effects of Marijuana smoke in life”

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Why We Fight: Perspectives on the History of Drug Law Enforcement

April 27, 11:00 AM Eastern
Retired DEA Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Stamm, Executive Director, Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)

Jeff Stamm is a 31-year veteran of DEA who retired after serving as the Special Agent in Charge of the Aviation Division, and is an amateur historian of America’s drug enforcement experiences beginning with the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. Mr. Stamm will provide his perspectives of our nation’s current global efforts to control the use and trafficking of illegal drugs, as well as countering some of the myths that have been put forth. With abundant examples drawn from his experiences on the job, his scholarship, and from the history of DEA—which he refers to as “the indispensable agency”—Mr. Stamm will speak on America’s current drug control policy that, to paraphrase Churchill, is the worst system ever devised by the wit of man – except for all the others!

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