Unfortunately, the heroin problem throughout the United States continues to get worse. In an effort to combat the growing trend, the Federal Government has pledged to give states an extra funds to increase their budget and allow them to hire more trained individuals to fight the heroin problem. However, the grant is only for some states in the East and Northeast, and many are questioning the effectiveness of this decision.
Proponents of these measure are reminding the public that the government is targeting areas that are suffering from the heroin problem the worse and are helping to provide heroin to the rest of the country. Meanwhile, others are claiming their problems are just as bad and are seeking assistance as well.
According to a release by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, “$2.5 million will fund the Heroin Response Strategy, an unprecedented partnership among five regional HIDTA [High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas] programs — Appalachia, New England, Philadelphia/Camden, New York/New Jersey, and Washington/Baltimore — to address the severe heroin threat facing those communities through public health-public safety partnerships across 15 states.”
Unfortunately, there are still many communities that are resistant to having treatment centers in their immediate vicinity. To this, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin stated, “The time has come for us to stop quietly averting our eyes from the growing heroin addiction in our front yards, while we fear and fight treatment facilities in our backyards.”
Promoting a more cohesive partnership between Federal, state and local agencies is important when fighting against the heroin problem. The individuals hired under this program could help to increase treatment options and resources available to those in need. Shifting the focus to treatment, rather than punishment, has been a movement that has gained popularity – a message the resonates widely during September, which is National Recovery Month.