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White House announces $275 million for law enforcement to combat opioid epidemic

EXCLUSIVE: The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is set to announce $275 million for law enforcement in areas of high intensity drug trafficking to combat the opioid epidemic, Fox News has learned.

The White House on Thursday is set to announce the funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program (HIDTA), which will provide additional resources to 33 regional HIDTAs working to “reduce violence associated with drug trafficking, improve interdiction efforts through enhanced data sharing and targeting, and dismantle illicit finance operations.”

The funding, according to an official, also will support public health and safety partnerships, like the Overdose Response Strategy, which, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), works to reduce overdoses. The funding will also go toward a surveillance tool used to track suspected drug overdoses in real time across the nation.

President Biden delivers remarks during an event for the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year in the White House on April 27, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

President Biden delivers remarks during an event for the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year in the White House on April 27, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
(Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“This funding supports President Biden’s new comprehensive Strategy to go after two drivers of the overdose epidemic: untreated addiction and drug trafficking,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House ONDCP, told Fox News.

“It will provide the brave men and women on the front lines of the overdose epidemic with new resources to dismantle drug trafficking and illicit finance operations, and support evidence-based public health and safety partnerships working to reduce overdoses and save lives.” 

The 33 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas across the nation coordinates with federal, state, local and tribal drug enforcement efforts, according to an official. Each year, they work to assess the drug threats in their communities and develop strategies to address those threats.

According to an official, the most recent program report showed that enforcement efforts were successful in seizing $26.1 billion worth of illicit drugs and disrupted or dismantled more than 3,100 drug trafficking and money laundering organizations across the country.

House Minority Leader leading GOP delegation meeting with Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas.

House Minority Leader leading GOP delegation meeting with Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas.
(Fox News’ Bill Melugin)

The program also supports public health and safety partnerships with the CDC in an effort to help communities to reduce fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses by connecting public health and public safety agencies, sharing information and supporting evidence-based interventions.

The funding announcement Thursday comes after the Biden administration, last week, released its National Drug Control Strategy, which instructs federal agencies to prioritize actions that will “save lives, get people the care they need, go after drug traffickers; profits, and make better use of data to guide all these efforts.” 

The strategy also calls for expanding high-impact harm reduction interventions like naloxone, drug test strips, and syringe services programs, while directing federal agencies to integrate harm reduction into the U.S. system of care to “save lives and increase access to treatment.” 

Cuban asylum seekers queue for a turn for an asylum appointment with US authorities in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on May 31, 2019. - Washington will impose a five percent tariff on all goods from Mexico starting on June 10, a measure that will last until "illegal migrants" stop coming through the country into the US, President Donald Trump said Thursday. (Photo by Herika Martinez / AFP)        (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Cuban asylum seekers queue for a turn for an asylum appointment with US authorities in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on May 31, 2019. – Washington will impose a five percent tariff on all goods from Mexico starting on June 10, a measure that will last until "illegal migrants" stop coming through the country into the US, President Donald Trump said Thursday. (Photo by Herika Martinez / AFP)        (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
(HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

The strategy also seeks to improve data systems and research that guide drug policy development.

Drug overdoses have killed 106,854 people in the United States in the most recent 12-month period.

Brooke Singman is a Fox News Digital politics reporter. You can reach her at Brooke.Singman@Fox.com or @BrookeSingman on Twitter.

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