Drug Enforcement Administration Museum
Drug Enforcement Administration Museum Review
Just across the street from the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City—a destination in itself for shoppers—is the DEA Museum, within the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's headquarters. The museum strives to educate the public on the history of drugs, addiction, and law enforcement in the U.S. using interactive stations and displays. One exhibit provides a 150-year tour of the effect of drugs on American society, starting with quaint 19th-century ads for opium-laced patent medicines and "cocaine tooth drops" (opiates, cannabis, and cocaine were unregulated then). But documentation of these addictive substances' medical dangers, as well as the corrosive political effect of the opium trade, which China detested, is hard-hitting. A similar contrast is found between the period feel of artifacts from a 1970s head shop and displays on the realities of present-day drug trafficking. Besides teaching the history of drug abuse in America, the museum chronicles the work of the DEA and its predecessors. Children can become a Junior Special Agent during their visit with hands-on activities and a badge.
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