In heroin fight, White House tries to break down walls between public health, police

By David Boddiger

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — As heroin overdoses and deaths soar in many parts of the United States, the White House plans to announce on Monday an initiative that will for the first time pair public health and law enforcement in an effort to shift the emphasis from punishment to the treatment of addicts.

The experiment, initially funded for one year in 15 states from New England to the Washington, D.C., area, will pair drug intelligence officers with public health coordinators to trace where heroin is coming from, how and where it is being laced with a deadly additive, and who is distributing it to street-level dealers.

Two senior officials described the initiative to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity because the program was not scheduled to be announced until Monday. The new program is a response to a steep increase in heroin use and deaths in much of the nation, especially in New England and some of the Northeastern states covered in the new program. The death rate from overdoses has quadrupled in the past decade, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Via:: Tico Times