During this hour-long program, Designer Drugs: The New Frontier, we’ll take a look at this new and emerging drug threat, hear who is most at risk, and learn what we can do about it. We will travel to Bangor, Maine where some experts are saying this is the worst drug epidemic they have ever seen.

Key Concepts:

  • What are these designer drugs?
  • What can happen to people who take them?
  • What strategies can coalitions use to prevent their use?
  • What should law enforcement know when approaching someone who may be using designer drugs?

Originally Aired: January 26, 2012

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Panelists

Gary Boggs

Special Agent, Executive Assistant, Office of Diversion Control, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Gary Boggs began his law enforcement career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Orlando, Florida in 1977, where he was assigned to the Patrol Division and to the Street Drug Unit.

In 1985, he became a Special Agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and was transferred to the Detroit Field Division Office. In 2003, he was transferred to DEA Headquarters, where he was assigned to the Office of Special Intelligence as the Unit Chief over classified programs.

In 2006, Boggs was promoted to his current position as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Diversion Control. As the Executive Assistant, he coordinates day-to-day operations of the Diversion Control Program; develops policy and budget proposals; provides briefings to members of Congress; and conducts liaison with industry.

Special Agent Boggs holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia Southern University.

Aaron Byzak

President, North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC), Vista, California

Aaron Byzak has served as President of the North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC), since 2008 and has been on its board since 2003. In 2010, NCPC was recognized by the National Association of State Alcohol & Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) with the 2010 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices and Policies.

Byzak is the Director of Government & Community Affairs for UC San Diego Health Sciences. In this role, Aaron handles all legislative and community relations activities on behalf of UC San Diego Health System, UCSD School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSD.

Byzak has a BA in Social Science from Chapman University and an MBA in Healthcare Management & Policy from the University of California Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. He is currently enrolled in Cornell University’s certificate program in Executive Leadership.

Mark Ryan, Pharm.D

Director, Louisiana Poison Center

Dr. Mark Ryan is the Director of the Louisiana Poison Center, where he assists in the medical management of poisoned or overdosed patients and provides poison prevention and awareness education to help reduce the incidence of accidental poisonings.

A lifelong resident of Louisiana, Dr. Ryan graduated from Northeast Louisiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation. “I love flying airplanes but helping others is my passion”.

Dr. Ryan completed his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Kansas.

He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, giving him the opportunity to teach medical students, residents, fellows and other healthcare professionals about clinical toxicology. His areas of interest include spider and snakebites, designer drugs of abuse, acetaminophen toxicity, emergency response, pharmacy operations in evacuee shelters and agents of opportunity.