Amid a growing heroin crisis, especially in the Northeast, the White House announced yesterday that it will dedicate $2.5 million to developing a heroin response strategy, including public safety and public health officers.
The program will focus on treatment rather than punishment, in an attempt to curtail heroin deaths, which have nearly quadrupled since 2002. The money is only a small portion of the $25.1 billion that the government spends on fighting drugs. However, officials are hopeful that it will make a difference in the fight against opiates.
“The Heroin Response Strategy will foster a collaborative network of public health-public safety partnerships to address the heroin/opioid epidemic,” said the announcement by the policy office. “The aim will be to facilitate collaboration between public health and public safety partners within and across jurisdictions, sharing best practices, innovative pilots, and identifying new opportunities to leverage resources.”