The Union Township Police Department has been awarded $10,000 from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI).
The department was awarded the grant for its outstanding work in the field of prescription drug abuse enforcement.
NADDI makes these awards through the generous funding provided by national pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, L.P.
“We have an officer assigned to pharmaceutical investigation and we take the problem very seriously,” said Police Chief Terrence Zinser. “We realize the dangers of prescription drug abuse and we are very proactive in our diversion program.”
The Union Township police officer assigned to the investigation of prescription drug abuse is a member of NADDI.
“He is trained by NADDI and attends their conferences,” Zinser said. “He works very closely with the local pharmacies (there are more than 12 pharmacies in Union Township) and has built a strong relationship with them.”
According to Zinser, communication is key when it comes to the enforcement of prescription drug abuse.
“The message to parents in helping us with drug diversion is to keep medication out of the reach of children, never share medication with anyone, and keep medication in the original prescribed bottle,” he said.
The Union Township drug diversion unit, which works closely with the pharmacies, the sheriff’s office, the county narcotics unit, and other drug task forces, focuses on what authorities describe as “doctor shopping.”
“Doctor shopping is a serious problem,” said Zinser. “This is when a person goes to multiple doctors to illegally obtain the same prescription drug, usually pain medication. The $10,000 grant will enable us to stop these people from getting these dangerous drugs.”
The grant money will also be used for education.
“The diversion program works and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to stop prescription drug abuse,” he said. “Getting the community involved will help us stay on top of the problem. Educating parents about the dangers of these drugs is an important step.”
Zinser said that he and Union Township Police Department are thankful for the assistance of NADDI, Purdue Pharma L.P. and the local pharmacies.