The New York Times (8/18, A15, Shear, Subscription Publication) reports that the White House announced on Monday a new initiative to help counter the “surge in heroin abuse” in 15 states in the Northeast. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Federal government will spend $2.5 million, directed to five “high intensity drug trafficking areas,” including Appalachia, New England, Philadelphia/Camden, New York/New Jersey, and Washington/Baltimore. The funding will “hire public safety and public health coordinators…in an attempt to focus on the treatment, rather than the punishment, of addicts.”
The Los Angeles Times (8/18, Toman-Miller) reports that an additional $1.3 million in funding will “go to fight trafficking on the border with Mexico, drug czar Michael Botticelli said.” Under the program, public health coordinators “will monitor heroin use and issue warnings regarding dangerous batches of the drug,” while public safety coordinators “will work with law enforcement to stem illegal imports.”
— “U.S. Budgets Cash to Treat Heroin Abuse in Northeast,” Michael D. Shear, New York Times, August 17, 2015.