Ameritox Advocate and Former DEA Special Agent to Lead Symposium on Preventing Prescription Opioid and Heroin Abuse in Local Community

October 28, 2015

BALTIMORE, Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — AmeritoxSM, a national leader in medication monitoring solutions, today announced that Richard A. Tucker, retired Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will lead a symposium to empower Cobb County Georgia community members to help prevent prescription opioid and heroin abuse among their loved ones, friends and neighbors.

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The 5th Annual “Becoming Your Own Advocate” symposium on October 29th is organized by the Davis Direction Foundation and sponsored by WellStar Health Systems, both of Cobb County. Tucker offers symposium attendees a lifetime of experience in preventing and fighting opioid misuse, abuse, and diversion, having served 10 years as a police officer in Cobb County at the beginning of his career, and 25 years with the DEA on assignments in Atlanta, Denver, El Paso, Texas, Los Angeles and Thailand to investigate global drug trafficking operations. He also served in Washington, D.C. as the chief of the DEA’s International Intelligence Program.

The Davis Direction Foundation was created in memoriam of Davis Owen, who to combat stress and anxiety developed a well-hidden prescription painkiller addiction as a teenager. The prescriptions he stole out of his family’s medicine cabinet eventually led Davis to heroin abuse — and to his death in March 2014 of a heroin overdose. The Davis Direction Foundation works one-on-one with individuals and their doctors and family members to tear down the outdated stigmas of opiate addicts and to restructure the long process of drug rehabilitation to recognize and escalate opiate addiction as a severe and all-too-common

“We’re thrilled to have Rick leading this year’s symposium as a Cobb County native, and as someone who has seen firsthand all over the world the fight we’re all fighting,” said Missy Owen, Executive Director of the Davis Direction foundation. “Only by working together as a community – which includes doctors, patients, family members, and law enforcement – are we going to prevent the prescription opioid and heroin abuse that has claimed the lives of too many loved ones, including our son, Davis.”

Cobb County has identified a significant problem with opioid misuse, abuse and diversion: In 2013, a large percentage of the cases handled by a local law enforcement narcotics unit involved prescription painkillers and other drugs.

“With every additional person who gets educated about the triggers and warning signs of prescription opioid and heroin abuse, our chances to prevent more tragedies goes up,” said Tucker. “This is an important gathering that could lead to many more lives being saved.”

Attending “Becoming Your Own Advocate” will offer a powerful and educational understanding of the epidemic in Cobb County. The symposium will take place at 7 p.m. at Marietta First United Methodist Church, 56 Whitlock Ave. SW, in Marietta, GA.

About Ameritox
Ameritox helped pioneer the prescription drug monitoring necessary to address the national epidemic of prescription drug misuse, abuse, and diversion. As the nation’s trusted leader in Pain Medication Monitoring SolutionsSM, Ameritox provides medical and business professionals with health care solutions that can help improve patient care and prevent tragedy. Ameritox, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., has a national footprint and laboratory facilities in Greensboro, N.C.

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Contact: Lon Wagner
Director of Communications, Ameritox
(336) 387-7742

Genevieve Rozansky