With the bodies piling up from coast to coast the White House has finally announced its heroin strategy. Hum, about two years ago, we reported that prescription pain killers were killing more people than heroin and cocaine combined. And hum, about two tears before that, we reported how heroin production had increased 700 percent since the coalition forces took over Afghanistan and how the newly elected presidents brother was the known heroin manufacturer/smuggler in Afghanistan. All old news by the time we reported it.
We also reported on how heroin production and distribution had moved to Mexico and the presidents policy of open borders was helping drug smugglers. So, when I say, "the White House has finally announced its heroin strategy" it's because we've been screaming at the top of our lungs, trying to scream above the ambulance sirens responding to yet another heroin over dose.
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Then we reported on how the DEA is actually preventing cancer patients and others in serious pain from receiving the pain meds their doctors have prescribed. Arresting doctors and threatening pharmacist for filing legitimate scripts. After all that, we were called some "shitty blog" I guess for having the balls to stand up and say something. Now, back to the news...
EDGARTOWN, Mass. (Reuters) - The White House announced a new strategy on Monday to tackle the explosion in heroin use in a collection of eastern states, focusing on treating addicts rather than punishing them and targeting high-level suppliers for arrest.
The move is a response to a sharp rise in the use of heroin and opiate-based painkillers, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has described as an epidemic.
Heroin use has more than doubled among people aged 18-25 in the United States in the past decade, according to CDC figures, while overdose death rates have nearly quadrupled. An estimated 45 percent of U.S. heroin users are also addicted to prescription painkillers.
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Announcing the ‘Heroin Response Strategy’ on Monday, Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said the new plan will address the heroin and painkiller epidemics as both “a public health and a public safety issue.”
Under the plan, $2.5 million of $13.4 million in new funding to combat drug trafficking will target regions the White House said are facing a severe heroin threat: Appalachia, New England, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
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The Obama administration will work with local law enforcement to increase access to treatment for addicts and try to trace the sources of heroin trafficking.
The policy is in line with new criminal justice strategies that seek to treat more drug offenders as addicts within the public health system rather than as criminals who must serve long sentences in jail.
Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island have pushed for such policies for more than a year in Congress.