Washington Division Special Agent in Charge Jarod A. Forget and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Rothermund are pleased to announce that Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland have been chosen for Operation Engage 2023.
As we all know, there are far too many non-fatal and fatal drug overdoses and poisonings affecting our communities, and sadly, these numbers are increasing each year. 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.
DEA’s Operation Engage focuses on community-based solutions involving drug prevention approaches with multiple audience demographics, i.e. adults, youth, schools, media, and the workplace. The Washington Division will center efforts around opioids, with emphasis on fentanyl, since it accounts for a majority of poisonings and deaths and it is the biggest threat for the DC/PG County metropolitan area community members.
The main strategic components of Operation Engage include:
Stakeholder/Community Gatherings: Establish and engage with local government and various sectors of the community to implement evidence-based environmental strategies with a primary focus on changing policies, influencing social norms related to substance use and misuse through quarterly/bi-annual stakeholder meetings, in anticipation of networking, collaborating, mobilizing, and disseminating information among the youth. This comprehensive approach will draw on existing human, financial, and material resources to strengthen self-help and community participation in drug prevention initiatives.
Adult/Community Engagement: In order to create a sense of community, it is imperative to hear the voices of the community to generate positive changes. In that spirit, many important functions will be proposed for Operation Engage Year Three to include various community events and a Family Summit.
The DEA Citizens Academy: We recognize the importance of forging strong alliances with local communities and maintain collaborative relationships with community leaders. The DEA Citizens Academy offers participants the opportunity to understand the world of federal drug law enforcement and the important role the DEA and the community together play in combating drug trafficking, drug misuse, and related violence.
Youth Engagement: Engage youth in positive activities with guided mentorship to promote self-care, leadership, and the importance of remaining drug-free.
Community Outreach Programs: The DEA, along with stakeholder involvement, will concentrate efforts in the neighborhoods most affected by fentanyl and methamphetamine use. In those targeted communities, our Team will participate in facilitating prevention strategies to include, but not limited to, drug prevention, training, and technical assistance for communities, coalition outreach, and schools townhalls, to name a few.
Workplace Engagement: The Washington Division will partner with local government and private business organizations to facilitate Local Healthy Workplace Discussions for employers and employees to understand the dynamic of substance use disorders in the workplace. Utilizing local partnerships, the understanding of current laws, stigma, and professional advice, we will be discussing these topics interactively between participants from the Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas.
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.
Top Local Drug Threat
Fentanyl is the DMV area's top local drug threat. Find out more about this synthetic opioid that is America's #1 drug threat by accessing the Fentanyl Fact Sheet through the link below:
What Are Opioids?
Though some people still refer to all drugs as “narcotics,” today “narcotic” refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic substitutes. A more current term for these drugs, with less uncertainty regarding its meaning, is “opioid.” Examples include the illicit drug heroin and pharmaceutical drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, morphine, methadone, and fentanyl. Learn more.
Visit the Synthetic Opioids Fact Sheet here.
The DEA Washington Division be hosting a number of community events for and with our partners across the DMV this year under Operation Engage.
Just some of the community outreach events we have scheduled are posted below. Make sure you check back here and on our events page to see what we have scheduled in your area, and how to register.
Interested in partnering with us for an event in your community? Email Special Agent Tyrone Guyse at Tyrone.K.Guyse@dea.gov with inquiries or for more information.
Our #OpEngageDMV 2023 events include:
- “Baby Scientist” STEM program events
- “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” field trip program events
- Summer outdoor activities
- Virtual Teen Summit with celebrity guests
- 2-day virtual youth training for local middle & high schoolers
- Drug prevention presentations and assemblies for local schools
- Red Ribbon presentations and activities for schools
- Holiday coat drive program
Virtual training opportunities:
- Virtual trainings for parents, grandparents, and caregivers
- Workplace Prevention Resources training
- Signs of Youth Drug Abuse training
- CADCA Parent & Caretaker training
- Diversion Lunch & Learn events for health care professionals & registrants
- Current drug trends & digital resources trainings for law enforcement agencies and officers
- Local drug trends & public safety resources for community groups
- Local Stakeholder Meetings
- Business Roundtable Discussions
- Speaking engagements for Prevention and Coalition partners
- Participation in local Opioid & Overdose Working Groups
- Presentations and partnerships with the U.S. Military branches
- Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts events
- Drug Awareness campaigns with local sports teams
In-person / Hybrid opportunities:
- Drug Take Back Days
- Red Ribbon week events
- DEA Citizen Academy
- Visits to local schools, community and outreach events
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.
Check out our local partners below:
- DC Prevention Center 7 &8
- DC Prevention Center Wards 5 & 6
- DC Public Middle Schools
- DEA Educational Foundation
- Prince George’s County Prevention, Recovery and Tobacco Program
- Prince George’s County Public Middle Schools
- United States Attorney's Office/Eastern District of Virginia - "Silent No More Program"
Go to 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 zipcode below to find substance abuse treatment facilities in your area.
Connect With Us!
Sign up for email updates about DMV's Operation Engage Initiative.
Stay up to date with the Operation Engage initiative in D.C., Maryland and Virginia by following the DEA Washington D.C. Twitter account @DEAWashingtonDC, and the hashtags:#OpEngageDMV and #EngagewithDMV
Please DO NOT submit tips using the feedback form on this page.
Use the official tips page (https://www.dea.gov/submit-tip) to report what appears to you as a possible violation of controlled substances laws and regulations.
Tips submitted to the feedback form below WILL NOT be addressed.
DEA. 24 December, 2020. Operation Engage DMV. Retrieved from https://www.dea.gov/engage/operation-engage-dmv on 27 May, 2023
DEA. "Operation Engage DMV."Drug Enforcement Agency, 24 December, 2020, https://www.dea.gov/engage/operation-engage-dmv Accessed 27 May, 2023.
DEA. . Drug Enforcement Agency on DEA website. https://www.dea.gov/engage/operation-engage-dmv. 24 December, 2020. Accessed 27 May, 2023.