By: Bethany Winkel
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White House Develops a Plan to Stop Heroin Epidemic
It’s what the country has been waiting and hoping for – a real plan that can finally help do something about the tragic rise in heroin addiction and overdose in our country. The White House announced this week that it will implement a plan that will focus on treatment rather than prosecution of heroin addicts.
Called the Heroin Response Strategy, the plan will work to locate the sources of heroin and prosecute dealers and distributors of the drug, but will coordinate law enforcement and public health workers in order to work on prevention and treatment, and training first responders to administer overdose-reversing medication.
“It’s something that’s very much on the president’s radar,” said Eric Schultz, White House deputy press secretary. “This is a pretty severe threat that we face and so this program is an unprecedented partnership with both law enforcement and public health officials to really get at the root of it.”
The initial $2.5 million for the program will be funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and will tackle the heroin problem in 15 states. “The new Heroin Response Strategy demonstrates a strong commitment to address the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic as both a public health and a public safety issue,” Michael Botticelli, director of National Drug Control Policy said in a statement. “This Administration 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.”
Read more about the program here.