A new federally funded program is partnering with police departments and health departments in 17 states in the northeast and beyond to share information quickly to respond to the heroin crisis.
The new initiative, known as the Heroin Response Strategy, funded by the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, has hired drug enforcement officers and public health analysts in each of those states to share information on drug trafficking and drug overdoses.
“There are thousands of police departments across the country, and they all face the challenge of opioid abuse—pills, heroin, fentanyl or a combination—which together are the leading cause of preventable death,” said Chauncey Parker, Director of the New York/New Jersey HIDTA, one of the seven HIDTA programs working together in the Heroin Response Strategy. A key challenge has been the lack of a structured way for police departments to efficiently share information about drug trafficking across the region.
The increase in heroin use has led to a growing number of grandparents raising their grandchildren, according to The New York Times.
The parents of these children are dead, in jail, in rehab, or are otherwise unable to care for their own children.
The last time so many children were at risk because of their parents’ drug addiction was in the 1980s and 1990s, during the crack epidemic, the article notes.An estimated 2.6 million grandparents were responsible for their grandchildren in 2014, up 8 percent from 2000, according to the census. The number of websites and Facebook pages for grandparents raising grandchildren because of parental drug addiction is growing. These sites, which draw tens of thousands of people, include The Addict’s Mom, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, The Parents of Drug Addicts and Before The Petals Fall.
The heroin epidemic, unlike the crack epidemic, has hit especially hard in white suburban and rural...