Drug Enforcement Administration

New Orleans

Brad L. Byerley, Special Agent in Charge

January 25, 2017

Contact: SA Debbie Webber

Phone Number: (571) 362-4803

DEA And Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center Open Powerful Exhibit In Mobile, Alabama

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to be held on February 3, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

MOBILE, Ala. - The Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA’s) national touring exhibit, Drugs: Costs and Consequences, has arrived in Mobile, Alabama.  The exhibit, developed by the DEA and the DEA Educational Foundation, opens on February 3, 2017, at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. 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 Alabama’s local communities.

“The New Orleans Field Division is pleased that the DEA national touring exhibit will be displayed in Mobile, Alabama, educating communities in the Gulf Coast region on the dangers of drugs and drug abuse and the devastating impact these drugs have in our area. This exhibit will reveal the true story of the damage caused by drugs and give an insight into DEA's fight against deadly drug trafficking organizations,” said Stephen G. Azzam, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Division.
“The Exploreum is proud to bring this exhibition to the Gulf Coast community. It is our hope that every family, school, and community organization will take the time to visit and learn from this exhibition, which could be a truly life-changing experience. This exhibit is first and foremost about science, but also closely ties in family and community elements.  It is our role to be a partner in education and a strong leader in the civic life of our region and this exhibit perfectly reflects that. We thank the DEA Educational Foundation, our Honorary Chairs, and all of our sponsors for their work to ensure that this exhibit comes to Mobile and reaches as many lives as possible,” says Exploreum Science Center Executive Director, Jan McKay.
Experienced by more than 22 million visitors in 13 cities across the country, the Drugs: Costs and Consequences exhibit 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 learn what drug abuse education and treatment are doing to break the troubling cycle of drugs and drug-related violence. They will view both an actual South American jungle coca processing lab and a re-created Afghan heroin factory. They will also analyze brain-scans in a simulated MRI machine and view real wreckage from a drug-related car accident. A portion of the exhibit will focus specifically on the Gulf Coast Region, exploring the evolution of heroin abuse and enforcement in the area.

“We are excited to bring our newly renovated exhibit, Drugs: Costs and Consequences to the Exploreum Science Center in Mobile, Alabama. With the generous support from the local community and our partner, the Drug Enforcement Administration, our goal is to educate as many students and adults throughout the Gulf Coast region on the devastating effects of drug abuse and addiction,” says William F. Alden, Chairman, DEA Educational Foundation.

Drugs: Costs and Consequences activities are free for Alabama schools with regular paid admission to the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. For dates of specific activities, more information and ticket prices, visit www.exploreum.com. To book school groups please contact Monica Dunklin at 1-251-208-6880 or via email at mdunklin@exploreum.com. Reimbursement for school buses is available in limited quantity. First come, first serve.

A coalition of corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors, including: Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Mobile County, Providence Hospital/Ascension, Alta Pointe Health Systems, Trustmark Bank, Eichold Family Foundation Fund, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement (DEA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Regions Bank, Infirmary Health, WKRG News 5, Lagniappe, and iHeart Radio bring Drugs: Costs and Consequences to Mobile, Alabama. Honorary chair members include:  Mayor Sandy Stimpson, State Representative Adline Clarke, Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne, State Senator Vivian Davis Figures, and Exploreum Board President, Robert S. Frost. The exhibit was developed in partnership with The DEA Educational Foundation, The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, 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.

About the Exploreum Science Center:  With numerous interactive exhibits, thought-provoking larger-than-life IMAX films, and fun, hands-on educational programming, the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center aspires to increase science literacy among the people of south Alabama and the Gulf Coast region, residents and visitors alike. By sparking imagination, creating curiosity and instilling a sense of wonder in the world, the Exploreum has been a cornerstone of informal learning on the Gulf Coast since its inception more than 30 years ago.  With the continued support of the community-visionary civic leaders, generous donors, contributing members, and volunteers-the Exploreum is able to bring the world of science to the Gulf Coast.

About the DEA Traveling Exhibition: Drugs: Costs and Consequences, formerly Target America, began its national tour in 2002 and comes to Mobile with a section specific to the Gulf Coast region. The “Alabama story” looks at the history of drug trends and law enforcement’s responses throughout the Gulf Coast over recent decades. A local resource center will also be available within the exhibit providing information on drug abuse awareness, prevention, rehabilitation, and more.  The exhibit also displays rubble from the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, testaments of the relationship between drug trafficking and terrorism. 

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  

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