What is the Drug Enforcement Administration?
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice. The Drug Enforcement Administration, better known as the DEA, is tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the borders of the United States of America.
Not only is the Drug Enforcement Administration regarded as the leading agency for domestic enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, but it also maintains the sole responsibility for coordinating and subsequently pursuing U.S. investigations overseas.
The Drug Enforcement Administration was officially formed on July 1 of 1973. The administration was established by the passing of the Reorganization Plan; a full-fledged effort to organize the federal agencies responsible for diminishing the adverse effects of drugs on American Society.
The legislation, which ultimately created the Drug Enforcement Administration, was signed by President Richard Nixon and proposed the creation of a single federal agency to enforce the federal drug laws and consolidate, as well as coordinate, the government’s expansive drug control policies.
The preceding agencies of the DEA were the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement. The Drug Enforcement Administration, to mitigate the dangers associated with drug use and to lessen the supply of deadly drugs in the United States, employees nearly 11,000 agents and operates with an annual budget of approximately $2.5 billion.
In 2005, the Drug Enforcement Administration was successful in seizing over $1.4 billion in drug trade related assets and over $475 million worth of drugs. That being said, according to the White House’s Office of Drug Control Policy, the total value of all drugs sold in the United States is thought to exceed $65 billion per year—making the DEA’s efforts to intercept and thwart the flow of drugs into the country less than 1% effective.
How is the Drug Enforcement Administration Organized?
The Drug Enforcement Administration is headed by an Administrator who is formally appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The administrator is required to report to the Attorney General through the Deputy Attorney General. The individual is assisted by a Deputy Administrator, as well as the Chief of Operations, the Chief Inspector and three Assistant Administrators.
The headquarters of the Drug Enforcement administration are located in Arlington, Virginia, directly across from the Pentagon. The administration maintains its own training academy located on the United States Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia. In total, the Drug Enforcement Administration maintains 21 domestic field divisions with 227 field offices as well as 86 international offices located in 62 countries.