The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators has awarded the Zachary Police Department a $5,000 Law Enforcement grant to help with resources in combating the abuse and diversion of scheduled prescription drugs.

Kandyce Cowart, president of the Louisiana state chapter of NADDI, presented Chief David McDavid, chapter corresponding secretary, and Detective Ty Stephens, chapter vice president, with a check at the Aug. 11 City Council meeting.

The grant program recognizes law enforcement agencies that have achieved excellence in the investigation of pharmaceutical diversion for a particular event, an overall program of enforcement or prevention program, or both, Cowart said.

The maximum amount an agency can receive is $5,000.

NADDI is a nonprofit that advocates for the responsible use of prescription drugs and facilitates cooperation among law enforcement, health care professionals, state regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical manufacturers in the investigation and prevention of prescription drug abuse and diversion. The organization has 30 chapters in the U.S. and sponsors and conducts specialized educational conferences, seminars and training.

The work by McDavid and the Zachary Police Department in battling prescription drug abuse in the community has been significant, Cowart said.

“You are fortunate to have Chief McDavid and his officers so active in NADDI. They’re the leading department in the country concerning their efforts in fighting prescription drug abuse,” said Cowart. “The problem is rampant. Kids are taking drugs out of home medicine cabinets. It’s the new form of partying and a devastating trend. Where we used to pay a cover charge to get in some place, the pills are their cover charge. They go to these places, take a handful of pills and wait to see what happens.”