The White House has announced a new $5 million initiative aimed at addressing the heroin epidemic by paring law enforcement officers with public health officials. As reported in The Washington Post:
The experiment, initially funded for one year in 15 states from New England to the D.C. area, will pair drug intelligence officers with public health coordinators to trace where heroin is coming from, how and where it is being laced with a deadly additive, and who is distributing it to street-level dealers.
The new effort, proposed by the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, one of 28 such federally funded law enforcement initiatives nationwide, seeks to address those problems by hiring 15 drug intelligence officers and 15 health policy analysts who will collect overdose data, find patterns and get intelligence about trafficking trends to street-level law enforcement far more quickly than the current system allows. In addition, the initiative will train first responders on when and how to deploy medication that can reverse opioid overdoses.
The new money will pay for hiring “a cop and a health data analyst” in 15 of the nation’s 28 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, which cover about 17 percent of U.S. counties and about 60 percent of the population, the official said.
For more information read the full article in The Washington Post.
Additional coverage: White House Launches Initiative to Combat Heroin Use (The Washington Post)