White House launches initiative to combat heroin use

The White House is launching a new $13.4 million initiative to combat heroin use and trafficking of the drug, particularly in states along the East Coast.



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.



Health officials will work with local law enforcement to increase access to treatment for addicts and try to trace the sources of heroin trafficking. It will also treat more drug offenders as addicts, treating them within the public health system rather than sending them to jail.



The movement comes on the heels of reports that heroin-related death rates have quadrupled in the country in the past decade.



AP wires were used in this report


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