Minneapolis Tactical Diversion Squad talks opioids to Special Investigative Units
OMAHA, Neb. –Two members of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration Minneapolis District Office spoke with the Minnesota chapter of the International Association of Special Investigative Units last November in Eagan, Minn., on the deadliness of opioids in America and how the DEA is addressing the epidemic at the local level.
Speaking to approximately 60 people, Diversion Group Supervisor Kimberly Brill and Tactical Diversion Squad Group Supervisor Dick Mah began the meeting by defining diversion as something that occurs when a legally controlled substances, such as a prescription medications, are diverted from their legal use. Examples of diversion were provided to the audience, including times when individuals sell or give their prescription medication to another person.
As opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in Minnesota, TDS is working to prevent, detect and investigate the diversion of pharmaceuticals. Brill and Mah noted that certain events may trigger a diversion investigation, including discrepancies in pharmacy inventory, unusual spikes in distribution, unusual methods of payment, unusual combinations of drugs, and leads from state and local police, pharmacists and the public.
“We take every opportunity we can to get out and discuss the dangers of opioid abuse with members of our communities,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Darin Thimmesch said. “It’s important to educate people and make them aware of what they can do to help prevent an opioid addiction or overdose in their hometown.”
Brill and Mah discussed the upcoming DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, set for April 27, on which the public can turn in unused or expired medication for safe disposal. During the last Take Back event in October, sites in Minnesota collected 19,714 pounds of medication through 81 locations statewide. During the 10 years that DEA has held its Take Back event, Minnesota has compiled 172,197 pounds of medication.
For more information on the next National Prescription Take Back Day or to invite DEA to speak at your next meeting, contact Public Affairs Specialist Emily Murray at 402-964-7950.