Washington, DC –Today, Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli announced the designation of 18 additional counties in nine states as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs), including 11 counties in states that are part of the HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy (details below). The designations will enable the 18 counties to receive Federal resources in the future to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials.
“The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program is an important part of this Administration’s work to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use, pursue ‘smart on crime’ approaches to drug enforcement, work to reduce overdose deaths, increase access to treatment, and support millions of Americans in recovery” said Director Botticelli. “To fully address the crisis, however, Congress must act to provide funding to make lifesaving treatment available to everyone who seeks it. The President has called for $1.1 billion in new funding for States to help expand access to treatment. Every day that passes without Congressional action to provide these additional resources is a missed opportunity to save lives.”
The newly designated counties were added to the following HIDTAs:
*Part of the HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy
Background on the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program
Created by Congress in 1988, the HIDTA program serves as a catalyst for coordination among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the United States. Law enforcement organizations working within HIDTAs assess drug-trafficking issues and design specific initiatives to decrease the production, transportation, distribution, and chronic use of drugs and money laundering. There are currently 28 HIDTAs located in 49 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.
Background on the HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy
In August 2015, the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced an unprecedented partnership among regional HIDTA programs to address the heroin threat facing those communities through public health-public safety partnerships. The HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy now covers 20 States in eight HIDTAs: Appalachia, Atlanta/Carolinas, Michigan, Ohio, New England, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia/Camden, and Washington/Baltimore. This HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy is fostering a collaborative network of public health-public safety partnerships to address the heroin and opioid epidemic from multiple perspectives.
Background on the Administration’s National Drug Policy
The Administration’s drug policy is based on a balanced public health and public safety approach. This approach is built upon the latest scientific research demonstrating that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that can be successfully prevented and treated, and from which one can recover. The Administration has directed Federal agencies to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use before it begins, empower healthcare workers to intervene early at the first signs of a substance use disorder, expand access to treatment for those who need it, support the millions of Americans in recovery, and pursue “smart on crime” approaches to drug enforcement.
The President has made clear that addressing the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic is a priority for his Administration and has called for $1.1 billion in new funding for States to help expand access to treatment. While Federal agencies have been using their authority to take every available action they can, Congress needs to take action on what is most urgently needed now – additional funding to make lifesaving treatment available to everyone who seeks it.
For more information about the Office of National Drug Control Policy visit: www.whitehouse.gov/ONDCP
For information on the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program visit: www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/high-intensity-drug-trafficking-areas-program