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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
December 11, 2002

Innovative Anti-Drug Program in Alabama

Today, Asa Hutchinson, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in conjunction with the representatives from Mobile and Prichard, Alabama, opened the Integrated Drug Enforcement Assistance (IDEA) Summit.

The IDEA program will provide the Mobile/Prichard area with long term support in developing and implementing prevention and treatment programs that will help the communities address underlying needs that make them vulnerable to drug use and trafficking.

"We are proud to be working with the people of Mobile and Prichard. While law enforcement is an effective method of removing drug trafficking organizations, we hope to help extend the results of these efforts by joining with existing community coalitions to reduce demand through prevention and treatment programs," said Administrator Hutchinson.

DEA launched the pilot plan for the IDEA program with summits in 3 locations: Allentown, Pennsylvania; North Charleston, South Carolina; and Portsmouth, Virginia. Because of the successes in those towns, DEA initiated the second phase of the program in fall 2002 with sites in Springfield, Missouri and Mobile/Prichard, Alabama.

"The basis for IDEA is partnering law enforcement with community coalitions. To have long-lasting success in ridding drugs from our neighborhoods, our law enforcement efforts need to be combined with input from those communities affected by drug abuse and crime," said Administrator Hutchinson.

A wide range of government leaders, private citizens and law enforcement personnel are attending the two-day drug summit. Although the DEA's role as a law enforcement agency is well known, its role in prevention activities is equally important in ridding our communities of illegal drugs. These activities include education and training for young people, parents, teachers, coaches, employers and community leaders.

For additional information, contact Special Agent Micah Miller at the Mobile DEA Office at 251-340-3615 or Tara DeGarmo at DEA Headquarters, Public Affairs, at 202-307-7977, or visit DEA's website at www.dea.gov.

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