In 1997, the total production [ of Oxycontin ] quota approved by the Office of Diversion Control was 8.3 tons. By 2011, it had risen to 105 tons, an officially sanctioned 1,200 percent increase.. [Read More]

Gene R. Haislip

Proposal for the separation of the Agency of Diversion Control from DEA

Over the past decade the DEA has not effectively followed through with the mission of limiting the production and deterring the distribution of legitimate chemicals into illicit channels. Because the DEA has failed in this area of greatest importance and of proven effectiveness; a new approach to Chemical Control should be pursued.

An Agency of Diversion Control should be established which would be separated from the DEA, as an effort to split the unique responsibilities of controlling chemicals, from the traditional law-enforcement roles and objectives of the DEA.

Establishing a unique and separate sister agency would allow for greater attention to controlling the diversion of chemicals to illicit markets, a concept accomplished by establishment of quota enforcement combined with International policy and agreements. I would further encourage that DEA activity at Federal, State and local levels continue in parallel with the new organization, thereby specifically dividing the expertise of qualified individuals between chemical control initiatives and domestic illicit drug trafficking enforcement.

The Diversion Control initiative should be aimed at the gradual replacement of incompetent individuals with more qualified officers and at restricting the role of private company executives and consultants away from determining policy. The separation of Diversion Control interests away from the DEA law-enforcement programs will allow for greater success in both unique areas of chemical diversion control and domestic drug trafficking enforcement.

Gene R. Haislip

Feds refuse to limit production of deadly Oxycodone

"For those of us who devoted our careers to the DEA and drug enforcement, we really love the agency, but you can't love them when they screw up," Haislip said. "You've got to have some kind of principles. "

An epidemic of Oxycodone abuse has struck America in the last decade. The number of emergency room visits stemming from nonmedical abuse of the narcotic prescription painkiller drug rose by 256 percent between 2004 and 2009, according to the U.S. government's Drug Abuse Warning Network.

In Florida, the Medical Examiners Commission found more than 1,500 people died of Oxycodone overdose in 2010, a four-fold increase over the 350 who died in 2005. The supply of Oxycodone, says Jim Hall, director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Substance Abuse at Nova Southeastern University, went "far beyond the legitimate medical need of the state."

The epidemic is not likely to abate soon. The explosion of pain management clinics in Florida, dubbed "pill mills," prompted the state Legislature last year to close a loophole that had allowed physicians to fill Oxy prescriptions on the spot. Authorities say a half-billion doses of Oxycodone and its generic equivalents were distributed in the state during 2009 alone. An unknown number wound up in the hands of "patients" who had come from out of state to have prescriptions filled by multiple pill mills, before driving home to resell the pills on the black market.

Florida is not the only state where Oxycodone is being over-prescribed. The number of pills prescribed in Ohio has risen by 900 percent since 1997, a powerful indicator that the market for pills has become oversaturated.

"There's just no way that there's been a 900 percent increase in pain," says Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, chief of communications for Ohio's Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.

1,200 percent increase

One of the most disturbing things about the prescription pain pill abuse epidemic is that it could have been avoided, or at least mitigated, if the Drug Enforcement Administration had fulfilled the responsibilities vested in it under federal law.

That's the view of Gene Haislip, who, until his retirement in 1997, spent 17 years as the head of one of the least publicized law enforcement entities in Washington: the DEA's Office of Diversion Control.

"For those of us who devoted our careers to the DEA and drug enforcement, we really love the agency, but you can't love them when they screw up," Haislip said. "You've got to have some kind of principles."

Read the full interview with Guy Taylor from The Tampa Bay Times Sunday, October 30, 2011

Download supporting documentation

The Urgent Need for a Convention on Counterfeit Drugs

The problem of counterfeit drugs has escalated in virtually all countries, and there is no hope of stopping it without a stronger international regulation. As I pointed out in my testimony before Congress, there is no DEA or other police forces focused on this issue.

The UN can be the forum for addressing this problem with a suitable convention because it has developed models for the control of narcotics and dangerous drugs which have been successful. The convention I have proposed is an outline of the minimum requirements for control of the commerce, and could serve as a framework for development of a more elaborate.

Download the full International Initiative proposal