Loudoun County To Host DEA Exhibit
Drugs: Costs & Consequences
LEESBURG, Va. - The national touring exhibit developed by the Drug Enforcement (DEA) and the DEA Educational Foundation, Drugs: Costs and Consequences, formerly known as Target America, opens on January 11, 2016 in Leesburg, Virginia. In this interactive exploration of the effects of drugs on both individuals and society, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the history and the current science behind drug law enforcement, drug prevention, and drug treatment specific to Loudoun County and surrounding Northern Virginia communities. Further details and educational resources are available at www.deamuseum.org.
The exhibit has been experienced by more than 22 million visitors in 10 cities across the country in the last ten years. Drugs: Costs and Consequences explains the science behind illegal drug addiction, and the countless costs and consequences of illegal drugs to individuals, American society, and the world. Visitors will experience a drug investigation from start to finish, helping them understand the environmental effects of drugs and what law enforcement, drug abuse education, and treatment are doing to break the troubling cycle of drugs and drug-related violence. They will view an actual South American jungle coca processing lab and a re-created Afghan heroin factory as well as analyze brain-scans in a simulated MRI machine and view real wreckage from a drug related car accident. A portion of Drugs: Costs and Consequences will focus specifically on Loudoun County and Northern Virginia, exploring the evolution of heroin abuse and enforcement in the area.
“DEA proudly presents this unique experience that is aimed at educating young people in Northern Virginia to the dangers of drugs and the harrowing effects that drugs place on our communities. This exhibit will provide ample insight into DEA’s fight against the world’s most deadly drug trafficking organizations and the programs that we have implemented to prevent drug abuse and addiction,” stated Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Washington Field Division.
“It’s an honor to co-host this exhibit with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Education is one of the keys to success in fighting the drug problem,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. “It is important for our children and citizens to understand the significant impact drugs can have on our society and how we can best address this problem at all levels,” Sheriff Chapman added.
The exhibit also addresses the consequences of drug use, including the growing heroin epidemic. In response to the rising use of heroin and related overdoses in Loudoun County, Sheriff Mike Chapman and United States Congresswoman Barbara Comstock announced the formation of the Heroin Operations (HOT) in Northern Virginia earlier this year. Since its implementation, the HOT team has taken a proactive, comprehensive approach through enforcement, education and prevention by incorporating local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local schools and mental health officials. “A comprehensive, integrated, and proactive approach to drug abuse is the only way to truly impact this problem. I have been happy to work with Sheriff Mike Chapman and numerous stakeholders in Loudoun County to address this issue from a variety of angles, and am honored to be a co-sponsor of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Traveling Museum that will appear in Loudoun this coming January through next September,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. “Education is key to our success in the fight against drugs, and the DEA Museum will help in protecting our children,” she added.
Additionally, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the DEA and Loudoun County Public Schools to develop a Drug Awareness program for parents that is being taught at schools throughout the county this school-year. In furthering the educational and prevention efforts in the fight against drugs, Loudoun County Public School students will also be able to tour the DEA exhibit as part of their curriculum. “LCPS is pleased to partner with the DEA and the Loudoun County Sheriffs’ Office in supporting drug education and awareness among our youth. This initiative falls neatly in the school curriculum and provides a unique and important perspective on how drugs affect not just the user, but the economy and the community at large. We are very proud to participate in this meaningful effort,” said Dr. Eric Williams, Superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools.
The traveling exhibit is expected to attract residents from throughout the region and is supported by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce for its educational benefits to the community. “The Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in bringing this world class traveling museum to Loudoun County,” said Tony Howard, President and CEO of the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce. “This museum will help further our understanding about the dangers of illegal drug use and the damage caused by addiction. As parents, community leaders and employers, Loudoun County Chamber members are proud to work with our law enforcement partners to bring this museum to our community,” he added.
Drugs: Costs and Consequenceswas developed in partnership with The DEA Educational Foundation, The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, The U.S. National Guard, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, The Office of National Drug Control Policy, and The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. The exhibit is free. For dates of specific activities, group tours, and more information visit www.deamuseum.org or call 202-307-3463.