DEA hosts diversion awareness conference

MORGANTOWN — The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will host a free diversion awareness conference for registered practitioners — such as doctors, nurses, veterinarians and dentists — Sept. 29 and 30.

Anyone who orders, prescribes or dispenses controlled substances has to register with the DEA, Martin Redd, diversion program manager, explained. Manufacturers, importers, exporters and pharmacists also have to register.

Redd said the training is intended to help those who deal with controlled substances be aware of what the legal requirements are when it comes to handling those drugs.

“It basically teaches them how not to run afoul with us,” said Kevin McWilliams, DEA public information officer.

Attendees will learn how to keep better records, track and manage inventory and how to prevent diversion, Redd said.

He stressed that the conference is not about dictating how doctors prescribe medicine or practice, but helping practitioners stay within the law.

Practitioners will learn about different diversion red flags such as patients that drive 100 or more miles to get a prescription, or paying cash instead of claiming Medicare or Medicaid status.

The DEA has held diversion awareness conferences in all 50 states for pharmacists and is now going through all the states again for practitioners, Redd said. West Virginia’s conference will be the third for practitioners; the previous two were in Florida

and Kentucky.

Doctors who attend will earn 6.5 hours of continuing education credits, McWilliams said.

The conference will be held Sept. 29 and 30 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center, but the schedule is the same both days.

“It’s an option thing,” McWilliams said.

Registration is from 7-8 a.m. both days, and the conference itself is from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Only about 250 people have registered so far out of about 8,000 practitioners in West Virginia, Redd said. Almost 600 people attended in Kentucky.

To register, visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov. Click on

events and then click on the Charleston event.

If a person without a DEA registrant number, such as an office manager, wishes to attend, Redd said he or she should call the Louisville field office at

502-582-5908.

Tweet Will Dean @WillDean_DP; wdean@domininionpost.com

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