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MEDIA ADVISORY: DEA to Conduct Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference in Pittsburgh as Part of the 360 Strategy to Address the Diversion of Prescription Opioids
Event will take place on December 10th & 11th, 2015

DEC 08 (PHILADELPHIA) – Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division announced today that the DEA will host a Prescription Drug Awareness Conference (PDAC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as part of the DEA’s ongoing 360 Strategy to address prescription opioid and heroin abuse in Western Pennsylvania.

The diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances, specifically prescription opioids, is a growing problem.  This diversion stems from various sources.  In addition to pharmacy robberies and thefts, pharmaceutical controlled substances are often diverted by way of forged prescriptions, doctor shoppers, or illegitimate prescriptions from rogue practitioners.  The PDAC is designed to assist pharmacy personnel in identifying and preventing diversion activity. 

On November 10, 2015, the DEA announced Pittsburgh as the first pilot city in the nation where the 360 Strategy would be implemented.  The goals of the 360 Strategy include stopping the deadly cycle of prescription opioid and heroin abuse by eliminating the drug trafficking organizations fueling violence on the streets and addiction in communities.  The strategy will also include partnering with healthcare professionals and engaging and strengthening community and social service organizations that are best positioned to provide long-term help and support for building drug-free communities.  

The PDAC is a free training offered to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and loss prevention personnel employed by pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics that are registered with DEA in the state of Pennsylvania.  This one-day training, which will be offered on December 10th and December 11th, will be held at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“Eight out of ten new heroin users started by abusing prescription opioids,” said Tuggle.  “Speaking with pharmacy personnel about the link between the non-medical use of prescription opioids and heroin abuse at the PDAC is a key component of the DEA 360 Strategy.”

Members of the media wanting additional information about the PDAC or the 360 Strategy are asked to contact DEA Public Information Officer/Special Agent Patrick J. Trainor at either (215) 852-8740 or patrick.j.trainor@usdoj.gov

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