Dan Addario, Drug War Veteran: History And Ideas On How To fight Today’s War on Drugs
Ira Pastor, ideaXme exponential health ambassador and founder ofBioquark, interviews Daniel Addario, former Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
On a few previous shows we touched on the global problem of drug abuse (of both legal and illegal drugs) primarily looking at the problem from a therapeutic perspective, specifically related to opiate withdrawal technologies. But the problem is much bigger than that.
According to the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 20 million American adults battled a full fledged substance use disorder in 2017.
Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs.
Globally, the numbers escalate even further off the charts.
It is a war of amazing proportions, with many different battle fronts, some of which we are winning, some not so much, but it is one that is always changing and that we need to stay ahead of.
That’s why I’m so honored to be joined by our guest today, a gentleman whose career is something that it would take several movies and a few mini-series to appropriately encapsulate.
Mr. Daniel Addario spent close to 3 decades with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), rising to the role of Special Agent in Charge, the highest-ranking field agent for the DEA under five presidents, heading up anti-drug operations in 13 countries throughout South American, South East Asia, as well as in the U.S.
He started his career in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first narcotics undercover agents in 1954 and was involved in the capture of some of the world’s most notorious drug lords, and was even on scene when Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was captured by US forces.
His dossier of adventures consists of, but is not limited to:
A cultivation of the U.S. strategic relationship with the Panamanian leader, Manuel Noriega, who at the time, was head of police in Panama and fighting the war on drugs with the U.S. The chase and capture Auguste Joseph Ricord, the French-Corsican heroin trafficker and one of the founding members of the French Connection, immortalized in the 1970s Gene Hackman movie. Visiting the center of the “Golden Triangle” opium empire of Burmese opium king Khun Sa to discuss poppy crop eradication and substitution. The major drug bust, round up and arrest of dozens of Hell’s Angels, including their head Sonny Barger. The destruction of a dozen of drug guru Timothy Leary’s LSD labs. The drug arrest of Ray Charles. Intermingling with special counsel Robert Mueller, Frank Sinatra, and Watergate figures including John Dean and Gordon Liddy.
Sadly, in 1993 the very scourge he was battling came home and was responsible for taking the life of his son Daniel due to opiate addiction.
After he retired from the DEA, Mr. Addario spent some time in the news business working for a San Francisco news station.
He has recently published a book entitled Chasing the Dragon: How to Win the War on Drugs where he recounts his long history and experience as well as puts forth a range of new ideas as the drug war continues in this millennium.
On this show we will hear from Dan:
About his background, where he grew up, how he became interested in law enforcement, and his amazing path from his first undercover street assignment to being at the epicenter of the capture of drug kingpins, warlords, and dictators. His thoughts on the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. His thoughts on holding doctors and big pharma accountable for the opioid epidemic. His thoughts on crop substitution programs. His thoughts on the Philadelphia SafeHouse program. His thoughts on CIA and State Department interference in the DEA’s operations.
Photographs in this article are from San Fran Chronicle, Philadelphia Enquirer, Pittsburgh Gazette, and Philadelphia Daily News.
Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.
Follow Ira Pastor on Twitter: @IraSamuelPastor
If you liked this interview, be sure to check out our interview on Ibogaine Therapies: Remodelling the Addicted Brain!
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