You don’t have to break bad to get behind the scenes of the global drug trade; you can just spend a little time at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center on the corner of Government and Water streets.
Beginning Feb. 3 and through the month of August, the Exploreum is hosting the exhibit “Drugs: Costs and Consequences,” an educational product of the Drug Enforcement Agency that explores the effects of drugs on individuals and society.
“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.
Josh Holland, Exploreum marketing director, said more than 7,000 local students are already scheduled to see the exhibit, but it has something for everyone.
“It covers street drugs, prescription drugs and all the negative effects that come along with it,” he said. “It explains how the drug trade launders money, how it ties into domestic and international terrorism, gang activity and human trafficking.”
The 6,000-square-foot exhibit contains scenes familiar to the DEA, including stations resembling cocaine and methamphetamine labs. More graphically, there is debris from the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., emphasizing the connection between the Taliban and the Afghan heroin trade. Around the corner, the effects of drug abuse are localized with the crumpled chassis of a car involved in a fatal DUI incident, and a “memorial wall” where visitors can read personal stories of those lost to drug abuse or leave stories of their own. A portion of the exhibit will focus specifically on the Gulf Coast region, exploring the evolution of heroin abuse and enforcement in the area.
Notably, Holland mentioned the exhibit will be staffed by an educator from the DEA Educational Foundation who will lead classes and man a resource center for addiction and treatment.
“The Exploreum is proud to bring this exhibition to the Gulf Coast community,” Exploreum Executive Director Jan McKay said. “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.”
“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 251-208-6880 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reimbursement for school buses is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.