White House Takes on the Heroin Epidemic
Last month the White House announced a new plan to fight the steadily growing heroin epidemic in the United States.
The White House’s Heroin Response Strategy will have “fifteen drug intelligence officers and fifteen health policy officials” collecting data on heroin trafficking, including overdoses (Siegel, 2015). In addition, the Strategy will require that first responders be trained in administering naloxone in order to reverse overdoses.
The Response Strategy is the White House’s attempt at treating, rather than incarcerating, drug addicts in the United States. According to Julia Edwards, writing for Reuters, “$2.5 million of the $13.4 million in new funding to combat drug trafficking will target regions the White House said are facing a severe heroin threat: Appalachia, New England, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, DC., and Baltimore” (2015).
Michael Botticelli, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) stated, “This Administration will will continue to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use, pursue ‘smart on crime’ approaches to drug enforcement, increase access to treatment, work to reduce overdose deaths, and support the millions of Americans in recovery” (Siegel, 2015).
Edwards, J. (2015). White House launches plan to counter explosion in heroin use. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/17/us-usa-heroin-whitehouse-idUSKCN0QM1Q020150817
Siegel, Z. (2015). White House unveils million-dollar heroin response strategy. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/white-house-unveils-million-dollar-heroin-response-strategy