Drug Enforcement Administration


Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge

September 16, 2011

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (571) 262-2887

DEA And The Museum Of Science And Industry Open Powerful New Exhibit

Exhibit from the Drug Enforcement Administration explores the many costs and consequences of illegal drugs

MIAMI, FL. - The Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA’s) traveling museum exhibit, Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause, has arrived in Tampa.  Installed at the Museum of Science and (MOSI), the 10,000-square-foot exhibit opens today and runs through September 3, 2012.  Target America explores the science behind illegal drug addiction and the myriad costs of illegal drugs-to individuals, American society, and the world.

“Most Americans are unaware of the science behind drug addiction, or of the tremendous costs associated with drug production, sale, and abuse,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “While the vast majority of Americans are not drug users, we all bear the costs of illegal drugs in some way.  The Target America Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry will open eyes to the science behind drug addiction, educate Americans about the costs of drugs to society, and educate us on what we can do to make a difference in our local communities.” 

“We are honored to open Target America: Opening the Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause at MOSI. This exhibition dives deep into the enforcement, prevention and treatment of drugs in America and the impact of drugs on the Florida economy. With this exhibition, we hope to open the eyes of the Tampa Bay Community” said Wit Ostrenko, President of MOSI.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans are not drug users, the costs to society - estimated at more than $200 billion a year - are paid by the public in many ways, including the cost of lost productivity of users at work, their health care, criminal justice costs, and child welfare costs. The exhibit provides an important look at how each visitor can work to break the cycle of drug abuse and drug-related violence.  It also gives a never-before-seen look at the shadowy world of narco-terrorism and the connections between terrorists and drug traffickers.

Target America began its national tour in 2002 and comes to Tampa with a section specific to Florida. The “Florida Story” looks at the history of drug trends and law enforcement’s responses in Florida over recent decades and gives visitors the chance to take part in a surveillance operation and get an inside view of the technology law enforcement uses in drug investigations.

A coalition of corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors brings Target America to Tampa.  The exhibit was developed in partnership with The DEA Educational Foundation, The Center for Substance Abuse (CSAP), The National Institute on Drug (NIDA), the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and The Partnership for a Drug Free America.  It premiered September 11, 2002 at the DEA Museum in Arlington, Virginia and has since inspired many millions of visitors in Dallas, Omaha, New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and most recently in New Orleans.

MOSI, located at 4801 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Target America, located in the Kids in Charge! area of the facility, is included in general admission.

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