DEA launches ‘360 Strategy’ to combat heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic in Baltimore

To effectively combat addiction has been a long-time challenge for the world. Every country seems to be having their fair share of addiction problem. So many solutions and initiatives have been implemented already but the problem, until now, still exists. In fact, it is getting worse each day as people seem to get a hold of drugs so easily now. This is why we can now see so many addiction treatment centers today so help will be more available to those who need it.

In Baltimore, they are launching the so-called 360 Strategy that aims to combat heroin and prescription drug abuse. The DEA “360 Strategy,” which has been launched in 14 cities in recent years, involves increased coordination between federal agencies and local law enforcement to target drug traffickers. It also works with drug manufacturers and those in the medical field to encourage responsible prescribing practices, and provides support for community organizations to treat those who are addicted and to educate youth.

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In Baltimore, more than 3,200 people have died of opioid overdoses since 2007, including nearly 700 last year alone. While officials said the number of heroin and prescription opioid-related deaths have decreased, the number of deaths from fentanyl and carfentanil have increased.

The campaign was previously introduced in Pittsburgh as a pilot program in 2015 while Baltimore Police Interim Commissioner Gay Tuggle headed DEA’s Philadelphia division. Tuggle praised the campaign Wednesday, saying while law enforcement has been working to disrupt supplies, he said more needs to be done to lessen demand.

As a “son of the city,” Tuggle said the death and destruction caused by drugs in Baltimore is personal.

At Wednesday’s event, Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur spoke about the most vulnerable population for addiction — adults ages 25 to 34.

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