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Overdoses down 3%, WH unveils trafficking reduction plan

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta announced over $276 million in new funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program.

The HIDTA Program supports federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. 

This new funding will help support law enforcement agencies that seize illicit drugs like fentanyl, prevent and reduce gun violence and other violent crimes associated with drug trafficking, improve interdiction efforts through enhanced data sharing and targeting, and dismantle illicit finance operations.

“There’s hardly a family or a community that has not been touched by this,” Dr. Rahul Gupta said. 

Gupta says drug trafficking is impacting far too many people. 

“We know that we’re losing an American every 5 minutes,” Gupta said. 

The White House is providing more than $276 million for law enforcement to help address the overdose epidemic.

The target areas: getting drugs like fentanyl off the street, reducing drug-related gun violence, and dismantling money laundering operations.

But West Virginia Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito says the Biden administration has fallen short on prosecuting many of these crimes. 

“From the drug dealer on to the carjacker,” Moore Capito said.

New preliminary data from the CDC shows that overdose deaths were down 3% last year. It didn’t offer reasons for the drop.

Gupta credits President Biden and Congress for making life-saving tools like Naloxon more accessible.

“We want to make sure that every life that we can save, we work to save that life, because every life is precious,” Gupta said. 

Moore Capito says she supports any effort to bring down overdose deaths, but says it starts with educating young people about the dangers of the drugs. 

“We have to begin teaching our children when they are in kindergarten that one pill can kill,” Moore Capito added. 

The money from the White House to combat the opioid epidemic will cover all 50 states. The breakdown of the spending can be seen in this graph:

HIDTANew 2024 Funding
Alaska HIDTA$2,587,000
Appalachia HIDTA$10,146,950
Arizona HIDTA$13,347,756
Atlanta/Carolinas HIDTA$8,145,753
Central Florida HIDTA$3,849,500
Central Valley California HIDTA$4,734,000
Chicago HIDTA$6,739,093
Gulf Coast HIDTA$9,200,612
Hawaii HIDTA$3,677,998
Houston HIDTA$11,526,802
Indiana HIDTA$4,659,249
Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA$6,368,351
Los Angeles HIDTA$16,187,469
Michigan HIDTA$3,980,117
Midwest HIDTA$15,914,383
Nevada HIDTA$3,453,000
New England HIDTA$4,735,042
New Mexico HIDTA$9,502,108
New York/New Jersey HIDTA$15,348,378
North Central HIDTA$7,811,996
North Florida HIDTA$3,845,500
Northern California HIDTA$3,657,500
Northwest HIDTA$5,031,349
Ohio HIDTA$5,871,418
Oregon/Idaho HIDTA$4,229,000
Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands HIDTA$10,577,433
Rocky Mountain HIDTA$10,931,379
San Diego/Imperial Valley HIDTA$11,899,873
South Florida HIDTA$14,418,286
South Texas HIDTA$10,129,143
Texoma HIDTA$4,249,500
Washington/Baltimore HIDTA$16,487,073
West Texas HIDTA$9,211,634
National HIDTA Assistance Center$4,086,770

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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