The Drug Enforcement Administration Museum and Visitor Center - located at 700 Army Navy Drive in Arlington, Virginia – is the only museum in United States which focuses on drugs, social issues involving drug abuse and addiction, and the role drug law enforcement has in reining in this dangerous trend.
The inspiration for the DEA Museum took birth during America’s bicentennial celebrations in 1976, when the federal government urged all its agencies to build a collection of exhibits, which highlights the achievements and history of that particular agency.
But another 20 plus years went into collecting objects, photographs, articles, documents, and oral histories from individuals involved in battling drugs and drug trafficking, before the museum could finally open its doors - in May 1999.
Its first exhibit, “Illegal Drugs in America: A Modern History," drew critical acclaim from the public and press alike for its commendable depiction of the 150-year history of drug and drug abuse, and the role of DEA in fighting the menace.
In an attempt to enhance DEA’s ability to tell a broader and more complete story, more gallery space became a necessity and as a result, a new changing exhibit gallery was incorporated in September 2002.
The DEA Museum and Visitors Center, through its state-of-the-art exhibits, displays, interactive stations, and educational outreach programs, provides a unique learning experience for the common man about the long, complex history of drugs and its illicit use in America.
By presenting to the public the collective past of drug abuse in the country, the museum tries to make an impact on future generations, in a way so that they keep off themselves from committing the same mistakes their elders made.
The Drug Enforcement Administration Museum and Visitors Center is located directly across the street from the Pentagon City Mall, at the corner of Army Navy Drive and Hayes Street.